The first animals came onto land sometime before 425 Ma. These early colonizers were members of a group called the arthropods - probably early relatives of the millipedes first. However, early land animals - especially those from the Palaeozoic era (542 - 252 Ma) - are relatively rarely preserved as fossils. The Carboniferous period (350-299 Ma) is an exception to this rule. During the Late Carboniferous, there is a window in which land animals are found preserved within the iron carbonate mineral siderite. This kind of preservation allows palaeontologists to use 3D reconstruction techniques - such as high resolution CT scanning - to investigate this unique insight into early land-based ecosystems. We talk to Dr. Russell Garwood - an 1851 research fellow at the University of Manchester - about the Carboniferous, the land animals which were around at the time, and the techniques he uses to study these.

Direct download: Ep10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

The 16th to the 18th December 2012 saw University College Dublin host  The Palaeontological Association (PalAss) 56th annual general meetingPalaeocast were present at the conference for quite a few reasons: firstly, it's always good to try and keep on top of the latest research in the field and conferences are the places to be for hearing a lot of ideas, covering a diverse array of topics, in a short period of time; secondly, we wanted to promote ourselves to the delegate in the hope of securing further interviews for the coming year; and thirdly, we wanted to drum up support for our 'Palaeo101' initiative which should finally be taking off this year.

Direct download: Ep9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm UTC