Author Peter Brannen just happened to be driving through Kansas so Ray flagged him down to ask him about The Ends of the World, his recent book on mass extinctions, a fitting end to Season 3 of Paleo Nerds!
Dr. Dean Lomax sold his Star Wars collection to fund his paleontology dreams. While some may gasp, his investment certainly paid off - his book Locked in Time has already come up a few times on the show already!
The Natural Trap Cave is a sinkhole death trap that contains a pile of fallen mammals that spans over 100,000 years and Julie Meachen has been studying this pile of bones since 2014.
While installing his Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Ray had a chance to sit down with Kent Gibson who lent a very small fraction of his massive collection of coastal fossils to Ray's exhibit.
Greg Erickson is a very well-rounded paleontologist: he's studied Super Crocs, arctic duckbills and even "dated" (well, aged...) the prehistoric celebrity Sue.
This episode of Paleo Nerds is truly out of this world! The Nerds talk to Kenneth Williford, Deputy Project Scientist for the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission. Blast off to the martian past!
Brian Skerry has logged over 10,000 hours underwater, capturing powerful images for National Geographic and has recently teamed up with James Cameron to continue bringing the captivating stories of the world's oceans to those of us stuck on land.
Youtube star Cameron Muskelly joins the Nerds to talk about the geologic treasures of Georgia and the southern United States. Cam is a paleo encyclopedia, so you're sure to learn something new!
Coprolites (or fossil poop to the layman) have come up repeatedly on the show so we are thrilled to finally have the Queen of Coprolites herself on the show! Karen Chin can interpret entire lifestyles from a thin slice of paleo dung.
What had giant cheeks, protruding canines, dainty hooves and a giant, ridged back? The Hell Pig is almost like Frankenstein's monster, and Scott Foss tells us all about how these creatures utilized this unique combo of features to be the "T. rex of the Tertiary."
Dave and Ray both took advantage of their early vaccination status (the perks of being living fossils!) and got out for some traveling. Dave visited Montana and Ray drove across the country, both visiting a few Paleo Nerds along the way.
The Nerds return to the La Brea tar pits, this time to talk carnivores with Mairin Balisi! She studies what the dogs of the tar pits ate throughout their life and discusses dog evolution.
Anyone familiar with Ray's art knows that fish are a focal point and salmon are central, so it's shocking that it's taken so long to have a salmon expert on the show! We're talking spike tooth salmon with Jerry Smith - Dive in!
Ashley Hall has been obsessed with dinosaurs since she was a kid and now she spends her days educating the public at the Museum of the Rockies. She makes fossils fun!
Seeing dinosaurs on the silver screen made Bill Stout a Paleo Nerd, so it's only fitting that he started his art career illustrating movie posters. His work spans from comic books to murals and has brought him all the way to Antarctica.
Ravens and crows have their own form of complex communication amongst themselves, and John Marzluff has studied how these birds pass information on an individual and even generational level. Ray gets to ask questions about his own raven experiment!
ReBecca Hunt-Foster is the Park Paleontologist at the Dinosaur National Monument. Yes, she has the iconic park ranger hat, but she spends her time tracing the footsteps of the dinos that walked Utah in the Late Jurassic.
Dr. Bob Bakker is widely known as the "Dinosaur Heretic". Over his long career, he has revolutionized our understanding of dinosaur behavior and overturned many outdated concepts. Get an insight into the mind of this bold maverick and expansive thinker in our season two finale.
Sam Ohu Gon III, trilobite expert and Senior Scientist & Cultural Advisor for the Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi. Sam looks to traditional Hawaiian cultural history as an example for a sustainable future.
Imagine time traveling back to the Western Interior Seaway AKA "Hell's Aquarium." It's a fitting nickname for the shallow marine environment, full of fish with teeth so big they ate differently than modern fish.
Don Prothero has written 48 books and counting! And he has repeatedly gone to bat for science, using the facts of the fossil record to disprove creationist beliefs.
Grant Zazula is a Paleo Nerd! His interest in archaeology is what attracted him to the Pleistocene and now he studies in the mighty Yukon, managing thousands of fossils that are byproducts of the mining industry.
Connie Soja has extensively studied the paleontology of the Alexander terrane, a gigantic crustal fragment that underlies Ray's backyard of Southeast Alaska. In fact, she's reconstructed ancient environments around the globe!
JP Hodnett is a Paleo Nerd. But that's a given! He's a shark (and sauropod and cat) expert, so the Nerds get to go off the deep end, diving into incredible finds at Mammoth Cave and JP's day job at Dinosaur Park.
Emily Lindsey is a paleoecologist who's been fascinated with giant ground sloths since the beginning of her career. She is now a curator and excavation director at the La Brea Tar Pits in LA!
Louie is a photographer and documentary filmmaker, so what's he doing on a podcast about paleontology? Well, you can thank Jurrasic Park for that.
Luis Chiappe is as famous for his barbecues as he is for his knowledge of prehistoric birds. Luis' discoveries include an incredible sauropod nesting site and is currently the Senior Vice President of the Natural History Museum of LA.
Regan Dunn is a paleobotanist who's work has taken her all over the world and has landed her in the hottest paleontology site in Hollywood - the La Brea Tar Pits. Learn how she uses the microscopic remains of plants to reconstruct entire ecosystems!
The Nerds get to talk Tiktaalik with esteemed evolutionary biologist and author Neil Shubin. Neil uses molecular biology and gene expression to fill in the gaps left in the fossil record.
Paleontologist Holly Woodward reads the microscopic stories left behind in dinosaur bones to tell characteristics like their age, sex, and general health. She's even used histology to "kill" a dinosaur!
Ray joins his old friend Chuck Bonner in Kansas where Chuck's family has collected exquisite fossils now on display around the world.
The Nerds sit down with Kallie Moore, cohost of the PBS youtube show Eons and fossil librarian at the University of Montana.
World renowned paleontologist Jack Horner discusses bringing paleontology to the masses as the scientific advisor on the Jurassic Park franchise and how dyslexia may have helped him make discoveries.
The Nerds have a whale of a time with Bobby Boessenecker.
Modern whales actually evolved from walking mammals! But how exactly does a huuuuuuge blue whale go from walking on land to swimming in the ocean? Find out!
Dr. Christian Sidor tells the Nerds all about the ancestry of mammals, including a little creature that hibernated through the Permian-Triassic extinction, allowing reptiles to branch off and evolve into mammals.
Did you know we're in the middle of a Cephalopod Renaissance? Esteemed author Danna Staaf is ready to introduce you to our Squid Overlords!
What's the difference between humans and animals? Who decided there was a difference? Maybe there's less of a difference than we thought...
The Nerds sit down with one of life's great thinkers, Peter Ward. He currently studies Mass Extinctions but nautiloids and ammonites are an ongoing passion.
"You're a fish!"
Turns out that's not an insult, it's the truth! Professor John Long will explain why this is true AND discusses the origins of sex! And then he'll ride off on his motorcycle...
Gabriel Santos is a nerd. But, hey, if you're listening to this podcast so are you! He's studied the paleoparadoxical Desmostylians, but now he uses cosplay to demonstrate that science is everywhere, especially in pop culture!
Episode #9: All Birds are Dinosaurs but Not All Dinosaurs are Birds with Paleontologinista Jingmai O'Connor
Paleontologista Jingmai O'Connor teaches the Nerds how to fly! Well, at least how dinosaurs evolved flight and eventually became the birds we live with today.
The nerds try and impress Dr. Pat Druckenmiller with their knowledge of marine reptiles. The key word being try.
Tom Kaye uses lasers to see microscopic changes recorded in the rock surrounding fossils that reveal soft tissues, literally shaping what dinosaurs looked like when they walked the Earth.
Dr. Dominique Didier has touched and fondled more ratfish than anyone one, so what better person to discuss the evolutionary perfection and sex life of this living fossil.
Gary Staab leaps on snakes, wrestles caiman, taxidermies road kill, oh and sculpts massive dinosaurs, realistic sharks and celebrity mummies.
Dr. Leif Tapanila studies fossil invertebrates and clams, so why is he here to talk about Helicoprion (AKA the Buzz Saw Shark)? Turns out it's all Ray's fault.
As a paleontologist and science communicator, Amy Atwater has been challenging the conviction that all paleontologists look like Indiana Jones
The Nerds talk to Dr. Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and long-time friend and collaborator of Ray's.
Ray Troll and David Strassman swap childhood stories about becoming Paleo Nerds and reminisce about their most treasured finds in this exciting and refreshing debut recording.