Fossil Friday Roundup: January 20, 2017

Featured Image: Reconstructions of the white matter tracts of the Tasmanian Devil  (left) and Thylacine  (right). Fibers are colored according to their approximate orientation (left-right = red, rostral-caudal = green, dorsal-ventral = blue). From Burns and Ashwell (2017).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Effects of Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations on mangrove population dynamics: a lesson from Sonneratia alba (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Rereading a tree-ring database to illustrate depositional histories of subfossil trees (PalaeoE)
  • Predicting evolution in response to climate change: the example of sprouting probability in three dormancy-prone orchid species (RSOS)
  • Phylogenomic analysis of Copepoda (Arthropoda, Crustacea) reveals unexpected similarities with earlier proposed morphological phylogenies (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Traces of an ancient immune system – how an injured arthropod survived 465 million years ago (Scientific Reports)
  • Digestive and appendicular soft-parts, with behavioural implications, in a large Ordovician trilobite from the Fezouata Lagerstätte, Morocco (Scientific Reports)
  • Detailed anatomy of the braincase of Macelognathus vagans Marsh, 1884 (Archosauria, Crocodylomorpha) using high resolution tomography and new insights on basal crocodylomorph phylogeny (PeerJ)
  • Neck biomechanics indicate that giant Transylvanian azhdarchid pterosaurs were short-necked arch predators (PeerJ)
  • Large-sized species of Ctenodactylidae from the Valley of Lakes (Mongolia): An update on dental morphology, biostratigraphy and paleobiogeography (PalaeoE)
  • Skeletal pathology and variable anatomy in elephant feet assessed using computed tomography (PeerJ)
  • Morphology captures diet and locomotor types in rodents (RSOS)
  • Testing the adaptive radiation hypothesis for the lemurs of Madagascar (RSOS)
  • The oldest marine vertebrate fossil from the volcanic island of Iceland: a partial right whale skull from the high latitude Pliocene Tjörnes Formation (Palaeontology)
  • A systematic review of animal predation creating pierced shells: implications for the archaeological record of the Old World (PeerJ)
  • Where Have All the Giants Gone? How Animals Deal with the Problem of Size (PLOS ONE)
  • Reconstruction of the Cortical Maps of the Tasmanian Tiger and Comparison to the Tasmanian Devil (PLOS ONE)


  • Looking Forward and Working Together: Next Steps for Bears Ears National Monument (Link)
  • Individuals donate, rally around stalled Utahraptor project (Link)
  • Three Ways to Be a Winner in the Game of Evolution (Link)
  • Conditions right for complex life may have come and gone in Earth’s distant past (Link)
  • Royal Tyrrell Museum announces expansion after receiving funding gifts from government (Link)
  • How the darkness and the cold killed the dinosaurs (Link)
  • ‘Nothing fishy’: Canadian owners of ancient fossils repatriated to China deny any wrongdoing (Link)
  • New Website for the Cohoes Mastodon, on display at the New York State Museum (Link)
  • Arkansaurus: As dinosaur bill advances, UA grad makes case for scientific recognition (Link)

Community Events and Society Updates:

  • DinoFest 2017: January 28-29, Salt Lake City, Utah (Link)

Around the Blogosphere:

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Published by Sarah Z. Gibson

Dr. Sarah Z. Gibson is a paleontologist and science communicator based in Minnesota. Her research focuses on the evolutionary history of ray-finned fishes from the Early Mesozoic.

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