Ancient wildfires may have doomed Southern California’s big mammals, and do insular societies have more complex languages?
First up on this week’s show, what killed off North America’s megafauna, such as dire wolves and saber-toothed cats? Online News Editor Mike Price joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the likely culprits: climate or humans, or one that combines both—fire. They discuss how the La Brea Tar Pits are helping researchers figure this out. Read the related Science paper.
Next up, do languages get less complex when spoken in multilingual societies? Olena Shcherbakova, a doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, joins Sarah with a broad look at how the complexity of languages changes under different social and linguistic environments.
In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Jackie Oberst, associate editor for custom publishing, discusses with Trine Bartholdy, chief innovation officer at the BioInnovation Institute, an international life science incubator in Copenhagen, Denmark, about the continued disparity in women’s health research and funding and ways in which these challenges are being overcome. This segment is sponsored by the BioInnovation Institute.
This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.
Authors: Sarah Crespi, Mike Price
Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adk3475
About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast