September 24, 2018 11:02 pm

Go Dino-Crazy with Dustin Growick, Meg Pierson, and paleontologist Shaena Montanari

Get ready for some new voices, new topics, and a lot of Jurassic Park references (expect some here as well). On this week’s episode of StarTalk All-Stars we have an all-new crew ready to enroll us in Dinosaurs 101. Filling the hosting seat is Dustin Growick, science communicator, author, dino-nut, author, and host of The Dinosaur Show. He’s joined in-studio by first time comic co-host Meg Pierson and paleontologist Shaena Montanari.

As a person who listens to every episode of the StarTalk Podcast Network week in and week out, I can tell you that these three have killer chemistry right from the start. Some would say they have the “Jurassic spark.” Plus, who doesn’t love talking about dinosaurs?

Akainacephalus johnsoni. Image © Andrey Atuchin/DMNS 2017.

Akainacephalus johnsoni. Image © Andrey Atuchin/DMNS 2017.

We start with the obvious question – what’s your favorite dinosaur? You’ll hear Meg’s favorite dinosaur along with Shaena’s, and Dustin nails down some easy identifiers to help us understand what makes something a dinosaur. Then, we discuss how and why certain dinosaurs got so big, like the Brontosaurus and Patagotitan.

Shaena takes us inside the process of finding fossils. You’ll learn where and how we look for fossils and why we usually end up searching in the desert. She explains the randomness and rareness that comes with fossil creation. Dustin also tells us about permineralization – a process of fossilization where the bone is encased in rock. You’ll also find out the difference between body fossils and trace fossils.

Dustin and Meg play a new game of “Dinosaur or Not a Dinosaur” and it’s honestly one of my favorite games we’ve ever played on StarTalk. After that we dive into why things went wrong, and no, it has nothing to do with Chaos Theory. You’ll hear the debate behind the asteroid theory and how volcanism could have played a role in the dinosaurs’ extinction. We also ponder what it would be like if dinosaurs were around today.

All that, plus we answer some fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the re-evolution of dinosaurs, hot and cold-blooded animals, and dino diets, and Dustin tells us how fast T-Rex could actually run… because he raced one.

Please join us tomorrow night for Dinosaurs 101, with Dustin Growick at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen