82- Dormice in the UK

There are two species of dormice in the UK. Today, we will be exploring the legislation around dormice, as well as the study which first pioneered the use of nest boxes for their study.

Sources for this episode:

  • Chanin, P. and Gubert, L. (2011), Surveying hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellinarius) with tubes and boxes: a comparison. Mammal Notes.
  • Morris, P. A., Bright, P. W. and Woods, D. (1990), Use of Nestboxes by the Dormouse Muscardinus avellinarius. Biological Conservation 51: 1-13.
  • Author unknown (2007), Dormouse: European Protected Species. Natural England Species Information Note SIN005.
  • Author unknown, GOV.UK (date unknown), Hazel dormice: survey or research class licence (CL10a) (online) (Accessed c.02/04/2024).
  • Author unknown, People's trust for endangered species (date unknown), Hazel dormouse disturbance licence (online) (Accessed c.02/04/2024).

81- Superfetation and Superfecundation

Today, two terms which, in a sense, extend our discussion of twins from episode 27.

Sources for this episode:

  • Blickstein, I. (2003), Superfecundation and superfetation: lessons from the past on early human development. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 14(4): 217-219.
  • Segal, N. L. and Nedelec, J. L. (2021), Heteropaternal twinning: Unique case of opposite-sex twins with different fathers. Forensic Science International 327: 110948.
  • Thain, M. and Hickman, M. (2004), The Penguin Dictionary of Biology (11th edition). London: the Penguin Group.

80- Endoskeletons, Exoskeletons and Hydrostatic Skeletons

Skeletons are on the menu today- and the different kinds organisms can have.

Sources for this episode:

  • Campbell, N. A., Urry, L. A., Cain, M. L., Wasserman, S. A., Minorsky, P. V. and Reece, J. B. (2018), Biology: a global approach, 11th edition (Global Edition), Harlow, Pearson Education Limited.
  • Clennett, C., Locke, J. and Jackson, T. (editorial consultants) (2023), How Biology Works. LonondM Darling Kindersley Ltd.
  • Hine, R. S. (2019), Oxford Dictionary of Biology (8th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Schmidt-Nielsen, K. (1997), Animal Physiology: Adaptation and environment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

79- Bee Declines in the UK

Bee declines feature prominently in the news today. But what are the causes for it? Using the example of the UK, we follow the Woodland Trust to explore this issue. Plus, we also discuss two papers which hold differing viewpoints about the pollination crisis generally…

Sources for this episode:

  • Briggs, H., BBC News (2019), Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline, study shows (online) (Accessed 05/03/2024).
  • Engel, M. S., Rasmussen, C. and Gonzalez, V. H. (2021), Bees. In: Starr, C. K. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Insects. Springer Nature Switzerland.
  • Ghazoul, J. (2005), Buzziness as usual? Questioning the global pollination crisis. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20(7): 367-373.
  • Hine, R. S. (2019), Oxford Dictionary of Biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kennedy, P. J., Ford, S. M., Poidatz, J., Thiéry, D., & Osborne, J. L. (2018). Searching for nests of the invasive Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) using radio-telemetry. Communications Biology, 1, 88.
  • Lima, C. G., Sofia Vaz, A., Honrado, J. P., Aranha, J., Crespo, N., & Vicente, J. R. (2022). The invasion by the Yellow-legged hornet: A systematic review. Journal for Nature Conservation, 67, 126173.
  • Paxton, R. J. (2010), Does infection by Nosema ceranae cause “Colony Collapse Disorder” in honey bees (Apis mellifera)? Journal of Apicultural Research 49(1): 80-84.
  • Rader, R., Bartomeus, I., Garibaldi, L. A. and Woyciechowski, M. (2015), Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(1): 146-151.
  • Renner, S. S. and Zohner, C. M. (2018), Climate Change and Phenological Mismatch in Trophic Interactions Among Plants, Insects and Vertebrates. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 49: 162-182.
  • Takahashi, J., Okuyama, H., Kiyoshi, T., Takeuchi, T., & Martin, S. J. (2019). Origins of Vespa velutina hornets that recently invaded Iki Island, Japan and Jersey Island, UK. Mitochondrial DNA Part A, 30(3), 434–439.
  • Van Engelsdorp, D., et al. (2009), Colony Collapse Disorder: A Descriptive Study. PLOS ONE 4(8): e6481.
  • Varela, C. (2023), Why are bees important? And how you can help them (online) (Accessed 01/03/2023).
  • Vogel, G. (2017), Where have all the insects gone? Science 356(6338): 576-579.
  • Author unknown, Climate Action Tracker (date unknown), The CAT Thermometer (online) (Accessed 05/03/2024).

78- Biomes

Time for a common ecological term to get the treatment it deserves. Today, we're exploring the biome. Not only that, but the term ecoregion is getting thrown in as an extra…

Sources for this episode:

  • Clennett, C., Locke, J. and Jackson, T. (editorial consultants) (2023), How Biology Works. LonondM Darling Kindersley Ltd.
  • Hine, R. S. (2019), Oxford Dictionary of Biology (8th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Rundel, P. W., Arroyo, M. T. K., Cowling, R. M., Keeley, J. E., Lamont, B. B. and Vargas, P. (2016), Mediterranean Biomes: Evolution of Their Vegetation, Floras, and Climate. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 47: 383-407.
  • Whittaker, R. J. and Fernández-Palacios, J. M. (2007), Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (2nd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

76- Mithridatism

Today's episode is going to feature one of the later monarchs from the Hellenistic era- Mithridates VI of Pontus. This is because his practice of trying to make himself immune to poison- called mithridatism- is biologically relevant and and continues to be influential until the 18th century.

Sources for this episode:

  • Jarcho, S. (1972), Medical Numismatic Notes, VII: Mithridates IV. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 48(8): 1059-1064.
  • Kaberopoulos, D., Karamanou, M. and Androutsos, G. (2012), The art of medicine: The theriac in antiquity. The Lancet 379: 1942-1943.
  • Karamanou, M., Androutsos, G., Hayes, A. W. and Tsatsakis, A. (2018), Toxicology in the Borgias period: The mystery of Cantarella poison. Toxicology Research and Application 2: 1-3.
  • Valle, G., Stanislao, M., Facciorusso, A., Carmignani, M. and Volpe, A. R. (2010), Mithridates VI Eupator, father of the empirical toxicology. Clinical Toxicology 47(5): 433.
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Antiochus III the Great (online) (Accessed 28/07/2023).
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Demetrius I Soter (online) (Accessed 28/07/2023).
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Laodice IV (online) (Accessed 28/07/2023).
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Laodice VI (online) (Accessed 28/07/2023).
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Mithridates VI Eupator (online) (Accessed 29/07/2023).
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Seleucus II Callinicus (online) (Accessed 28/07/2023).

75- The Plague of Justinian

The Black Death in the 14th century is engrained in the popular consciousness. But how familiar is the first wave of the disease that happened in the 500s? In this episode, we explore what plague is, its evolution, strains and impact on the world of the 6th century according to Procopius.

Sources for this episode:

  • Achtman, M., Zurth, K., Morelli, G., Torrea, G., Guiyoule, A. and Carniel, E. (1999), Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague, is a recently emerged clone of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96(24): 14043-14048.
  • Dai, R., He, J., Zha, X., Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Gao, H., Yang, X., Li, J., Xin, Y., Wang, Y., Li, S., Jin, J., Zhang, Q., Bai, J., Peng, Y., Wu, H., Zhang, Q., Wei, B., Xu, J. and Li, W. (2021), A novel mechanism of streptomycin resistance in Yersinia pestis: Mutation in the rpsL gene. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(4): e0009324.
  • Dewing, H. B. (1960), Procopius in Seven Volumes. Volume VI: The Anecdota or Secret History. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press and William Heinemann Ltd.
  • Dewing, H. B. (1961), Procopius in Seven Volumes. Volume II: History of the Wars: Books III and IV. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press and William Heinemann Ltd.
  • Dull, R. A., Southon, J. R., Kutterolf, S., Anchukaitis, K. J., Freundt, A., Wahl, D. B., Sheets, P., Amaroli, P., Hernandez, W., Wiemann, M. C. and Oppenheimer, C. (2019), Radiocarbon and geologic evidence reveal Ilopango volcano as source of the colossal ‘mystery’ eruption of 539/40 CE. Quaternary Science Reviews 222: 105855.
  • Dykhuizen, D. E. (2000), Yersinia pestis: An instant species? Trends in Microbiology 8(7): 296-298.
  • Ke, Y., Chen, Z. and Yang, R. (2019), Yersinia pestis: mechanisms of entry into and resistance to the host cell. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 3(106): 1-9.
  • Kousoulis, A. A., Karamanou, M., Tsoucalas, G., Dimitriou, T. and Androutsos, G. (2012), Alexandre Yersin’s Explorations (1892-1894) in French Indochina before the Discovery of the Plague Bacillus. Acto Medico-Historica Adriatica 10(2): 303-310.
  • Mikaty, G., Coullon, H., Fiette, L., Pizarro-Cerdá and Carniel, E. (2021), The invasive pathogen Yersinia pestis disrupts host blood vasculature to spread and provoke hemorrhages. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(10): e0009832.
  • Mordechai, L., Eisenberg, M., Newfield, T. P., Izdebski, A., Kay, J. E. and Poinar, H. (2019), The Justinianic Plague: An Inconsequential Pandemic? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(51): 25546-25554.
  • Moseley, J. E. (1981), Travels of Alexandre Yersin: Letters of a Pastorian in Indochina, 1890-1894. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 24(4): 607-618.
  • Norwich, J. J. (2013), A Short History of Byzantium. London: The Penguin Group.
  • Procopius (1985), The Secret History (translated by Williamson, G. A.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd.
  • Rogers, K., Encyclopedia Britannica (2023), Yersinia pestis (online) (Accessed c.01/03/2024).
  • Rosen, W. (2008), Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire & the Birth of Europe. London: Pimlico.
  • Sarris, P. (2023), Justinian: Emperor, Soldier, Saint. London: Basic Books UK.
  • Author unknown, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (date unknown), Protect yourself from plague.
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), Plague of Justinian (online) (Accessed 01/03/2024).

73- Islamic Golden Age Evolutionary Theory Part II

You asked, I delivered! In a sequel to our discussion in episode 58, we're going to shine a spotlight on two more thinkers during the Islamic Golden Age. Along the way we'll also see connections with later thinkers and a cameo from episode 69…

Sources for this episode:

  • Guerber, H. A. (1929), The Myths of Greece & Rome: Their Stories Signification and Origin. London: George G. Harrap & Company Ltd.
  • Kaack, L. H. and Katul, G. G. (2013), Fifty years to prove Malthus right. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(11): 4161-4162.
  • Malik, A. H., Ziermann, J. M. and Diogo, R. (2018), An untold story in biology: the historical continuity of evolutionary ideas of Muslim scholars from the 8th century to Darwin’s time. Journal of Biological Education 52(1): 3-17.
  • Waterman, A. M. C. (1987), On the Malthusian Theory of Long Swings. The Canadian Journal of Economics 20(2): 257-270.
  • Author unknown (1888), The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments: Translated out of the original tongues: and with the former translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty’s special command. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Author unknown, Wikipedia (date unknown), al-Biruni (online) (Accessed 11/01/2024).