Friday, December 20, 2013

Podcast: Isotope Ecology

New podcast episode!

On this episode we are joined by Patrick from the podcast "Science, sort of" to talk about isotope ecology. There are some great things we talked about including how much fossils can really teach us. Before recording this episode I assumed that fossils only really gave us structural information (in other words, what a dinosaur looked like). As it turns out we can learn a ton about extinct animals from isotopes. Come listen!

3:00 - What is isotope ecology and what types of questions can isotopes help us answer?

8:00 - Distributions of heavy water. Preferential evaporation and raining of different isotopes of water.

12:30 - Crocodilian evolution as studied by isotope ecology. When did saltwater tolerance come into play?

20:30 - Patrick describes the process of analyzing the isotopes he collects.

25:00 - Was T-Rex "warm" or "cold" blooded?

35:00 - When was the first time whales started living in the ocean?

43:00 - Fortnightly scientist