Fossil Friday Roundup: February 17, 2017

Featured Image: A reconstruction of Platychelys oberndorferi. Artwork by P. Röschli. From Anquetin et al (2017), first paper listed below.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • A Jurassic stem pleurodire sheds light on the functional origin of neck retraction in turtles (Scientific Reports)
  • Exoskeletons of Bougainvilliidae and other Hydroidolina (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa): structure and composition (PeerJ)
  • The role of dispersal mode and habitat specialization for metacommunity structure of shallow beach invertebrates (PLOS ONE)
  • High richness of insect herbivory from the early Miocene Hindon Maar crater, Otago, New Zealand (PeerJ)
  • Understanding morphological variability in a taxonomic context in Chilean diplomystids (Teleostei: Siluriformes), including the description of a new species (PeerJ)
  • Knoetschkesuchus langenbergensis gen. nov. sp. nov., a new atoposaurid crocodyliform from the Upper Jurassic Langenberg Quarry (Lower Saxony, northwestern Germany), and its relationships to Theriosuchus (PLOS ONE)
  • Live birth in an archosauromorph reptile (Nature Communications)
  • New evidence from China for the nature of the pterosaur evolutionary transition (Scientific Reports)
  • A new basal sauropodiform dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic of Yunnan Province, China (Scientific Reports)
  • A new primitive Neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with gut contents (Scientific Reports)
  • Large mammals (carnivores, artiodactyls) from Solna Jama Cave (Bystrzyckie Mts, Southwestern Poland) in the context of faunal changes in the postglacial period of Central Europe (Palaeontologia Electronica)
  • Genome data on the extinct Bison schoetensacki establish it as a sister species of the extant European bison (Bison bonasus) (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • A new developmental mechanism for the separation of the mammalian middle ear ossicles from the jaw (Proc B)Revisiting phylogenetic signal; strong or negligible impacts of polytomies and branch length information? (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Reappraisal of the envenoming capacity of Euchambersia mirabilis (Therapsida, Therocephalia) using μCT-scanning techniques (PLOS ONE)
  • Mass extinctions over the last 500 myr: an astronomical cause? (Palaeontology)
  • The arc arises: The links between volcanic output, arc evolution and melt composition (Earth and Planetary Science Letters)
  • Persistent tropical foraging in the highlands of terminal Pleistocene/Holocene New Guinea (Nature Ecology & Evolution)
  • A recipe for scavenging in vertebrates – the natural history of a behaviour (Ecography)
  • Empirical and Bayesian approaches to fossil-only divergence times: A study across three reptile clades (PLOS ONE)

Community Events and Society Updates:

  • Seeking Nominations: Raymond M. Alf Award for Excellence in Paleontological Research & Education (Link)
  • velociraptR: Fossil Analysis package for R, tailored for Paleobiology Database, now available (Link)
  • Journal of Paleontontological Techniques now available on ScienceOpen (Link)

New and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

Featured Folks and Fieldwork:

Museums, Methods, and Musings:

Arts, Culture, and Fun:


Do you have some news, a blog, or something just plain cool you want to share with the PLOS Paleo Community? Email it to us at, tweet it to us at @PLOSPaleo, or message us on Facebook.

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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