Palaeo After Dark

Palaeo After Dark

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

The gang discusses two papers that look at how animals take up space in a community. The first paper looks at ancient reef systems and uses spatial analysis to infer ecological interactions between corals. The second paper looks at the impact that lions have on other predators in South African reserves. Meanwhile, Amanda loves a number, James is an adult, and Curt has some strange ideas about pizza.

Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

Today our friends talk about space. Not the cool space, with stars, but the space between animals. The first paper looks at tiny animals that form big groups that look like rocks. There are two kinds of tiny animals that formed big groups that look like rocks from a long time ago. In the first paper, it turns out that some of the tiny animals that formed big groups that look like rocks settle in a space and then make it better for other types of tiny animals that formed big groups that look like rocks. Sometimes we would think that these animals would fight and would not want to help each other, but it turns out that actually they might really need each other to live in a place. This paper uses new ways of doing things, so their stuff is really cool, but is also really new; it’s never been done on tiny animals that formed big groups that look like rocks before, only on big tall green trees. So more stuff needs to be done with this new way of doing things. The second paper looks at large animals where boys have lots of hair around their heads and necks and the girls do all the work. The short of it is that when these large animals where boys have lots of hair around their heads are around, there aren’t as many smaller things that eat other animals. But there seem to be more kinds of smaller things that eat other animals when large animals where boys have lots of hair around their heads and necks are around. So it is kind of weird.

References:

Dhungana, Alavya, and Emily Mitchell. “Facilitating corals in an early Silurian deep-water assemblage.” (2020).

Curveira-Santos, Gonçalo, et al. “Mesocarnivore community structuring in the presence of Africa’s apex predator.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 288.1946 (2021): 20202379.

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