Mary Anning

In 1811 , or 1812, a young girl by the name of Mary Anning, along with her little brother, happened upon an incredible find while digging around the cliffs of Lyme Regis in England.   It was a skull. A very large skull. Four feet long and with jagged teeth. Mary kept looking. Her efforts paid off and she soon found the rest of the great beast. A large skeleton of a creature never before seen. They sold the skeleton to a local collector who eventually sold it to Charles Konig, then keeper of the department of natural history at the British Museum. Konig had even given it a name. He called it an Ichthyosaurus.

Mary’s success was that she was simply very good at what she did.  A jutting stone might be the snout of a plesiosaur, a flat piece of slate a flipper. It might even be the head of a pterosaur. Which it was in 1828 when Mary pulled the fossil of a pterosaur out of the cliffs.

 

Music in the Episode

The music in this episode was provided by Podington Bear at soundofpicture.com.

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Rosalind Franklin

When people talk about the discovery of the DNA double helix structure the names that normally pop up are James Watson and Frances Crick.  Every once in awhile you will hear a third name.  That being Maurice Wilkins.  But there is one name that is almost always…  and I really mean almost always, left out. Rosalind Franklin. It’s safe to say, and very few would disagree, that without her the double helix structure would not have been discovered when it was, nor perhaps by the same team of discoverers.

Sound Clip Bibliography

  • “Oral History of British Science.” Wilkins, Maurice (12 of 12). National Life Stories: Leaders of National Life. Accessed February 05, 2016. http://sounds.bl.uk/Oral-history/Science/021M-C0408X0017XX-1200V0.
  • “Rosalind Franklin Couldn’t Deal With People.” YouTube. Accessed February 05, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBWPzdyyPic.

Music in the Episode

The music in this episode was provided by Podington Bear at soundofpicture.com and Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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An Interview With Emma Darwin

Way back in Episode 30 I stepped into a time machine and traveled back to 1869 in order to interview Charles Darwin.  This time around I brought someone forward in time… his wife Emma Darwin.  In this ‘interview’ we talk about Charles, their differences when it came to thoughts on religion and God, as well how his theories troubled him.  Emma reads extracts from some of the letters she had sent to Charles (all of which he saved) to shed light on their relationship and time together, both before and after the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859.

The voice of Emma Darwin is played by the talented Mackenzie Bryant.

Music in the Episode

The music in this episode was provided by Podington Bear at soundofpicture.com, Steven O’Brien at https://soundcloud.com/stevenobrien, and Brett McCoy at https://soundcloud.com/brett-mccoy

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Convergent Evolution

Every living thing on this planet shares a common ancestor at some point in the far distant past. In some cases that common ancestor existed millions of years ago. Since that time, you will see similar adaptations develop separately that were not present in that common ancestor. A good example is bats and dolphins – two separate species that have evolved a similar methods of bio sonar to navigate the world. Convergent evolution has shown us that nature will find similar solutions under similar conditions. So too might it be on other planets. Life might not look that much different that it does here

Sound Clip Bibliography

  • “David Aguilar – Alien Worlds.” Vimeo. Accessed December 08, 2015. https://vimeo.com/125943942.
  • “Professor Simon Conway Morris FRS ET DM.mov.” YouTube. Accessed December 08, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBofPlhXlHU.

Music in the Episode

The music in this episode was provided by Podington Bear at soundofpicture.com.

Subscribe to the show in iTunes or Stitcher (Please leave a comment and rating.  It will help the show immensely.  Thank you!)

 

 

 

Cladistics

You’ve probably seen a cladogram before without knowing exactly what it was called. It’s a lot like a family tree. What it isn’t though is an evolutionary tree. Evolutionary trees are those large trees-of-life that show how all animals are related to one another and how they have evolved. A cladogram will show those animals that share similar form and structures. It’s not about animals which have evolved from one another.

In this episode we are going to look at clades and cladistics.  We will also create a cladogram… an audio cladogram.

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Music in the Episode

The music in this episode was provided by Podington Bear at soundofpicture.com.