Scientific Sleuthing Podcast Recommendations

Podcasts for fossil hunting

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Scientific Sleuthing Podcasts

Podcasts for fossil hunters


👉🏽 Charlotte Stoddart (she/her)

Why this theme?

👉🏽 If you like true crime podcasts, I think you’ll love these scientific sleuthing stories. Being a fossil hunter is like being a detective. First, you find the clues — the bones — and piece them together. Then you fill in missing information using other evidence and your best guesses. Sometimes, a new fossil shakes up our understanding of the past, and that’s the story I tell in the first podcast in this list.

Podcast Picks

Knowable podcast cover art


In 1861, the fossilized remains of a chicken-sized creature were discovered in Germany. It looked like a small dinosaur — but, surprisingly, next to the bones, there were fossilized feathers. It took more than 100 years to solve the mystery and convince the scientific community that this creature, called Archaeopteryx, was a bird-like dinosaur, and that modern birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs.

The Life Scientific podcast cover art

The Life Scientific

This podcast explores how the fall of the dinosaurs created a lucky break for mouse-sized mammals, which went on to evolve into the rich variety of big and small mammals we see today. But it's also about the life of a paleontologist. We learn how Steve Brusatte first got interested in dinosaurs and hear about the day-to-day work of finding and interpreting fossils, described by Steve as the “clues that can help put together the story of life.”

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Science Stories

EarBuds curator Charlotte has always wanted to go fossil-hunting along the beaches of Dorset in southern England. This stretch of coastline, known as the Jurassic Coast, was explored by Mary Anning 200 years ago. She found the first skeletons of plesiosaurs (marine reptiles that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs) and sent them to gentlemen geologists in London. But because she was a poor and relatively uneducated woman, her vast contributions to paleontology were often overlooked. So — hooray for a podcast celebrating her work!

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Slate Debates

There are no old bones in this podcast because it's about fossils in the English language. These “word fossils” harken back to earlier versions of English and highlight the way that language is always changing.

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FUTURES Podcast 

New technologies like DNA sequencing mean we can now learn even more from some fossils. Dinosaur bones are too old, but scientists have been able to extract DNA from ancient human remains. In this podcast, Alice Roberts explains what this genetic analysis reveals about the history of our species.


100 Latina Birthdays podcast cover art

The health and wellness of Latinas is crucial to the health and wellbeing of the U.S. economy. In 100 Latina Birthdays, reporters in Chicago investigate the health and lifetime outcomes of Latinas in the United States from birth to age 100. In season 1, the stories that unfold center Latinas during their perinatal journeys, childhood, adolescence, and up until age 20. Listen here.

Left Over podcast cover art

Left Over, an investigative podcast from LWC Studios, reveals the toxic politics in the American public school lunch system. Award-winning journalist Jessica Terrell dives into the experiences of lunch workers, students, families, caretakers, and community organizers while examining the problematic views surrounding poverty and unchecked racial inequality. Listen here.

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