SoT 283: Multicellular Life Is Everywhere

December 2, 2017

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday.

[00:01:03] Stromatolites – rocky mounds made of bacterial colonies – have been around for at least 3.5 billion years. But the rise of multicellular life wiped them out except for in a few salty marine locations. Now researchers have discovered some in a remote freshwater wetland in Tasmania.

[00:06:51] You wouldn’t think it would matter if you were injured in the daytime or at night – but it does. Wounds inflicted during the day can heal nearly twice as fast.

[00:11:14] What if the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs had struck the Earth somewhere different? It may be that if it had impacted nearly anywhere else on the planet the dinosaurs may have survived.

[00:16:14] The fungus that invades ants and controls them while it kills them is pretty horrific. But it’s even worse than we thought – the ants are aware and conscious the whole time, while their limbs are being controlled by the fungus!

This episode contains traces of Virtual Field Trips’ explanation on how stromatolites got their name.