The Paleozoic era, meaning “ancient life”, is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 541 to 252 million years ago. It is subdivided into the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian periods. The beginning of the Paleozoic is characterised by the sudden appearance of animal ecosystems following the extinction of the Precambrian Ediacaran fauna. The end of the Paleozoic is marked by the greatest mass extinction in earth’s history, following which global ecosystems were radically reorganised.

Carboniferous

Episode 109: Early Tetrapod Feeding Mechanics

Published on May 1st, 2020 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Early tetrapods include the earliest animals to grow legs, and their closest ancestors. Moving from the water to land required a number of changes within the skeleton and muscular system, related to moving from swimming to [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 106: Herpetology

Published on January 1st, 2020 | by Elsa Panciroli

Herpetology is the study of reptiles, amphibians and caecilians. This includes frogs, salamanders, crocodiles, snakes, lizards and tuatara, to name just a few. These cold-blooded tetrapods have an evolutionary history that reaches back to the Carboniferous. [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

Episode 102: Small Shelly Fossils

Published on August 14th, 2019 | by David Marshall

Between the weird and wonderful rangeomorphs of the Ediacaran Period and the world-famous palaeocommunities of the Burgess Shale, the ‘Early Cambrian’ is host to a ‘waste basket’ of fossils untied by their small size and shelly [&hellip... Read More


Devonian

Episode 100: Tiktaalik

Published on May 24th, 2019 | by Vishruth Venkat

One of palaeontology‘s great themes of questioning is the rise of novelty: how new structures and functions arise in specific lineages. In this episode we speak with Neil Shubin, Professor of Organismal Biology at the University [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 96: Decapods

Published on January 1st, 2019 | by David Marshall

Decapods are a group of crustaceans that include such well-known families as crabs, lobsters and shrimp. Whilst crustaceans are known from as early as the Cambrian, we don’t see the first decapods until Devonian. Over the [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 94: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Published on September 17th, 2018 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

The Carboniferous was a time of huge swampy forests, big trees, and lots of life both on land and in the ocean. One world-renowned fossil site from approximately 300 million years ago is the Joggins Fossil [&hellip... Read More


Mesozoic

Episode 89: Teeth and herbivory in reptiles

Published on April 17th, 2018 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Tooth shape and arrangement is strongly linked with diet, and palaeontologists often use teeth to determine what kind of food an animal may have been eating. Carnivorous teeth are generally more simple, while herbivorous teeth are [&hellip... Read More


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