Tooth shape and arrangement is strongly linked with diet, and palaeontologists often use teeth to determine what kind of food an animal may have been eating. Carnivorous teeth are generally more simple, while herbivorous teeth are more complicated. We know that herbivory evolved later, but how did the dentition of herbivores evolve? What kind of variation exists in herbivorous dentition?

In this episode, we speak with Dr Aaron LeBlanc, a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta. His research focuses on the evolution and development of teeth in amniotes, including some of his PhD work on the development of the dental system in herbivores, which we discuss in detail here, as well as the evolution of the mammalian system, which earned him the Alfred S. Romer Student Prize at last year’s SVP in Calgary.

Direct download: Ep89.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm UTC

The buculum is a bone present in the head of the penis of most mammals. Whilst a few mammals, like us, don't possess a baculum, some have greatly reduced versions and many have very elaborate shapes. Despite this variety in expression of the baculum, its function remains elusive, though many theories exist.

Investigating the function of this bone is Dr Charlotte Brassey, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, and she joins us for this episode to give us a crash course on penile anatomy and to reveal to us how little we know about genitals.

Direct download: Ep88.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am UTC