I thought it would be useful to share some recommendations for other places to consume paleontology media, news, art, etc. Here are a few of my favorites–definitely not a comprehensive list!

Videos, Documentaries, and Podcasts

The Common Descent Podcast

Type: podcast

Creators: Will Harris and David Moscato, paleontologists and science communicators from Tennessee

Audience: paleo fans, novice to fanatic

I’m not generally a big podcast person because of the large proportion of podcasts that are just two guys chatting aimlessly for an hour or so. But this paleontology podcast is extremely focused and organized, while also being funny and entertaining. They have a great format: first they share four paleontology news pieces in the first half hour, distilling the important parts and putting them in context with other research or implications. This makes the content way more memorable and easily understandable than reading the journal paper itself, but has more depth than you’d get from reading a sci-news article. Then, they take an hour to discuss the main episode topic–one host presents, following a well-thought-out outline, but leaves room for the other host, who is listening, to interject with questions, clarifications, or jokes. They also do special series in which they talk about movies, interview scientists, or design creatures, which are also great. You can find them on Podbean, the Podcasts app, Patreon, and their blog.

PBS Eons

Type: Youtube channel

Creators: PBS Digital Studios, hosted by Hank Green, Kallie Moore, and Blake de Pastino

Audience: everyone

This channel is super accessible, well-written, and well-produced. Each episode, one of the hosts presents an overview of a paleontological topic, from specific animal groups or adaptations, to climatic or geologic changes, to sweeping sagas of the entire history of the world. I really like how it starts with the very basics but ends up going pretty deeply into each topic; it also gives some time to how we know what we know based on specific fossils. You can find their channel here and their Patreon here.

TierZoo

Type: Youtube channel

Creator: ???

Audience: gamers who are interested in biology and paleontology

This channel is basically the Youtube version of r/outside: people talking about real life as if it’s a video game. In TierZoo’s videos, they rank various animal “builds” into viability tiers, talk about special abilities and unique strategies, and discuss how “balance patches” (extinction events) have affected the “meta” throughout history. It’s great content, and a lot of the video footage is documentary quality (with health bars, sound effects, and in-game chat added, of course). Find the channel here.

Trey the Explainer

Type: Youtube channel

Creator: Trey the Explainer

Audience: paleo beginners, Game of Thrones fans

This channel’s “Paleo Profile” series was one of the first things I encountered that got me interested in reading up about specific groups, like abelisaurs, placoderms, and temnospondyls. In those, Trey gives a comprehensive overview of a single interesting genus in a very accessible way. Nowadays, his channel focuses more on human evolution. He also does analyses on the biology of various pop-culture franchises, such as Game of Thrones, Avatar, and The Good Dinosaur. Find his channel here.

Amazing Dinoworld

Type: documentary

Creator: Salvatore Vecchio and CuriosityStream

Audience: everyone, dinosaur fans

This documentary requires a subscription to CuriosityStream, but you can get a 30-day trial through certain creators like TierZoo. It’s basically Walking With Dinosaurs modernized, with fluffy dinosaurs, newly discovered genera included, and lots of exciting action scenes and adorable baby dinosaurs. The production quality is quite high. There are only two episodes right now, but I’m hoping there will be more soon! Find it here.

Your Inner Fish

Type: documentary

Creator: Neil Shubin and PBS

Audience: everyone

This documentary is by the paleontologist who discovered the famous transitional tetrapod fossil, Tiktaalik! It covers the entire history of human evolution in three acts: the fish-tetrapod transition, Permian synapsids, and primate evolution. Dr. Shubin is in charge of a cadaver lab though, so some of the human dissection shown is not for the faint of heart.

Books

All Yesterdays

Type: art book

Creators: John Conway, Darren Naish, and CM Kosemen, renowned paleoartists

Audience: everyone, but especially aspiring paleoartists

This is the paleoart counterculture manifesto, a book that protests the use of paleoart stereotypes in favor of creative, speculative, but still scientific, interpretations of extinct creatures. Along with now-famous depictions of Parasaurolophus as an absolute unit, Protoceratops hanging out in trees, and Stegosaurus’s impressive member, they also include hilarious artwork of modern creatures drawn using bad paleoart stereotypes, such as shrink-wrapped, venomous baboons, horizontal-necked rabbits, and terrestrial manatees. This book has also spawned a whole paleoart movement, so I think it’s worth checking out the source.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

Type: book

Creator: Steve Brusatte, renowned American paleontologist and tyrannosaur expert

Audience: everyone–use this to get your dinosaur-clueless friends to have some idea of what you’re rambling about!

This book takes the reader on a tour through the Mesozoic, looking at the age of reptiles in detail while also presenting the author’s own experience as a paleontologist. It’s very recent, and thus serves as a good primer on the modern theories about dinosaurs. It’s also a very compelling narrative, and the author is a world-renowned expert on tyrannosaurs, so his insights into what made that specific group so successful are presented here.

The Dinosaurs Rediscovered: How a Scientific Revolution is Rewriting History

Type: book

Creator: Michael J. Benton

Audience: paleo fans looking to start learning about modern scientific methods

This book focuses more on recent discoveries and methods that have cast old assumptions and depictions of dinosaurs in a new light. Its scope includes new ways of dating and analyzing dinosaur body fossils; new strategies for reconstructing how dinosaurs behaved, breathed, and moved; and beautiful sketches and descriptions of individual dinosaur genera that sometimes take up an entire two-page spread.

The Palaeoartist’s Handbook

Type: art book

Creator: Mark Witton, renowned British paleontologist and paleoartist

Audience: aspiring paleoartists

This book, while pretty dang dense, does a good job of explaining how to create accurate life reconstructions from first principles–how we know what we know. It explains what types of osteological correlates correspond to what types of overlying tissues, how to interpret trackways, and how not to fall prey to paleoart “memes,” among other things. It also contains some really beautiful and inspiring original artwork.

Blogs and other Internet content

Mark Witton’s Blog

Type: blog

Creator: also Mark Witton

Audience: paleo fanatics and paleoartists researching a specific animal

This blog is a sort of extension of Mark Witton’s book, or his book is a distillation of his blog. If you liked the book and want more super-detailed analysis on various extinct animals’ anatomy and lifestyles, give this a try. It’s especially useful if you’re a paleoartist looking for direction or inspiration for a specific creature–just google “Mark Witton Tanystropheus” and two novella-length posts containing diagrams and original research will float your way.

Humming Dinosaur: Maija Karala’s Blog

Type: blog

Creator: Maija Karala, renowned paleoartist from Finland

Audience: anyone interested in biology, botany, paleontology, and paleoart, but especially paleoartists

This blog covers a wide variety of topics, and I’ve found it especially useful for paleoart inspiration. Paleobotany is especially a topic of weakness for me and many paleoartists, even though it comprises the stage on which our beloved, charismatic vertebrates do their thing. This blog saw that need and filled it.

Nix Draws Stuff: Ceri Thomas’s Blog

Type: blog

Creator: Ceri Thomas, the paleoartist who does a lot of work for PBS Eons

This paleoart blog is super active, and not only is the art great, but what Nix has to say about each piece is really interesting and inspires me to draw more!

Paleoartists

Type: art

Creators: see below

Audience: anyone who enjoys paleoart

Professionals: Gabriel Ugueto, Emily Willoughby, John Conway, Darren Naish, CM Kosemen, Julio Lacerda, Nobu Tamura, Maija Karala, Mark Witton, RJ Palmer, Fred Wierum, Joschua Knuppe

My personal favorites: CoffeeBlack, Daitengu, Derpyduckart, Dinomaniac, Dinostavros, Dustdevil, Guindagear, Kuzim, Lucas Atwell, Lythroversor, Olorotitan, Promilie, Pterosaur Freak, Qilong, Stygimoloch spinifer, Thek560, The Meep Lord, Xiphactinus

There is so much amazing free paleoart out there, and you can learn a lot about what an artist considers when making paleoart decisions by reading the descriptions on Deviantart. You can also comment, ask questions, and interact directly with them if you’re gutsy!