Palaeo After Dark

A group of fresh faced scientists have biweekly informal discussions about evolutionary biology and palaeontology... over beer.



Podcast 170 - The Impact of Taphonomy; On Conodonts and Dinosaur Nesting Sites

The gang discusses two very different papers that are sort of united together based upon the importance of taphonomy. First, they look at a paper about how the ways in which conodont elements are preserved can affect our understanding of their evolution. Second, they talk about the recent finding of exceptionally preserved therizinosaur dinosaur nesting sites. Meanwhile, Amanda finds herself dealing with a failing webcam, Curt enjoys burying the lede, and James is never wrong unless he wants to be.   Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition): Our friends talk about how the ways that things wear down can really change how we understand our past. First, they look at these things that are like teeth but are not and are part of this very old group of animals that are aunt or uncle to a lot of animals that have hard parts in their backs which live today. Some of these old animals that have not teeth have changes through time in their not teeth. The bottom of these not teeth appears to disappear in the animals we find which are closer to today. However, this paper finds new animals that show maybe the bottom of these teeth have not actually disappeared, but instead it turns out that this bottom part is very easy to break off. This is important because it means that the not teeth may still have some deep relationship to how actual teeth teeth form. Next, our friends look at the places where big angry animals would lay bag like things that hold babies, here after we will call them sit places. A big question has been if these big angry animals liked to find sit places close to each other or far away. It is hard to tell this in the past because we can't always be sure all of the sit places were used at the same time. This paper find a single red line that runs across all of the sit places, which allows the people who wrote the paper to say that all of the sit places were probably used at the same time. Also, the number of babies that didn't die is a lot like the number of babies that don't die in animals who also find sit places together today. So it looks like these big angry animals probably shared sit places.   References: Tanaka, Kohei, et al. "Exceptional preservation of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur nesting site from Mongolia reveals colonial nesting behavior in a non-avian theropod." Geology(2019).   Souquet, Louise, and Nicolas Goudemand. "Exceptional basal-body preservation in some Early Triassic conodont elements from Oman." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2019). 


 01 September 2019  1h16m