Episode 242 – The Little Slothologist That Could
00:00:00 – Few quick announcements in lieu of a PaleoPOW for this episode. First, thanks to Robert M. (not the guest) and John P. for repeating their generous donations to the show. Also, there are still a few hours left to donate to Ryan’s crowdfunding campaign: experiment.com/sloths. Lastly, we’re running an iTunes review contest. Leave a new review between now and the Summer Solstice and be entered in a drawing for some sweet prizes!
00:01:01 – Ryan heads to Ohio to sit down for a chat with Doc Sloth aka Robert McAfee. When he was on the show before, the talk was of carnivorous sloths and the Ice Age movies, but this time, we’re talking about his actual research and the first to be discussed is his work trying to suss out the taxonomy of the diverse fossil ground sloths.
00:26:51 – One way to slow down to sloth speeds is a depressant, in this case: beer! Ryan begins with an Amarillo Brillo, purchased solely for the fact that the label contains a cousin to the sloths: an armadillo. Robert heads south to Cincinnati for some Rhinegeist Brewery’s Hustle, which prompts a discussion of just how much Prohibition screwed up American brewing. Those jerks.
0035:15 – For the second aspect of Robert’s research, we discuss some functional morphology, i.e. how do we know what ground sloths were capable of just by looking at their bones? Robert explains. Be sure to check out slothsearch.com for more sloth research and follow @docsloth on Twitter for continued updates!
- Learn more about paleontology’s favorite statistical test: the Principal Component Analysis!
- Was Bigfoot actually a sloth? Who knows, but here are some other cryptids that did turn out to be real animals.
- Get to know rum better with this book
- Welcome… to Park
Thanks for listening and be sure to check out the Brachiolope Media Network for more great science podcasts!
Music for this week’s show:
Slow Brains – Honeyhoney
The Hustle – Van McCoy
Image credit: Brendan Wenzel