A l'UM la science [S03-ep23]: Fossils under a rocket

Pierre-Olivier Antoine, a paleontologist at the Institute of Evolutionary Sciences in Montpellier, tells us how tens of thousands of fossils discovered under the launch site of the Ariane rocket shed new light on the history of French Guiana. A show co-produced with Divergence FM and broadcast every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on 93.9.

And today we're heading for French Guiana and more precisely for Kourou. Sorry for space exploration enthusiasts, we are not inviting you to a space trip but to a journey through time. It was at the launch base of the Ariane rocket that an international consortium of palaeontologists, geologists and biologists came up with the idea of excavating and digging, and the least we can say is that they had a good nose. Between 2017 and 2021, scientists, coordinated by the Institute of Evolutionary Sciences in Montpellier, unearthed tens of thousands of fossils covering a period of 130,000 years.

A discovery that first of all informs us about the animal and plant biodiversity of this Pleistocene and Holocene Guiana, but not only. The time travel I told you about is to be taken in its two occurrences because this assemblage of fossils also tells us a lot about the Earth's climate past and future.

We tell you more with our guest, Pierre-Olivier Antoine, paleontologist at Isem, who coordinated this study. He wrote the article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

In the second part of the show, we invite you to discover an episode of Lumlu, the podcasts of Lum magazine, while listening to The Boar of Discord. Raphaël Mathevet, a researcher at the Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, talks to us about the delicate cohabitation between humans and animals.

At UM la science you've got the program, here we go!

Coproduction: Divergence FM / University of Montpellier
Animation: Lucie Lecherbonnier
Interview : Aline Périault / Lucie Lecherbonnier
Directed by : Alice Rollet

Listen to the program "A l'UM la science" on Divergence FM 93.9

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