Fossil Friday Roundup: November 10, 2017

Featured Image: Partial maxilla of spinosaur Irritator challengeri, from Sales and Schulz (2017), CC-BY.

Less than 1 week to vote for the Top 10 Open Access Fossil Taxa of 2017! Vote here before it’s too late!

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Ediacaran developmental biology (Biological Reviews)
  • Toy trains, loaded dice and the origin of life: dimerization on mineral surfaces under periodic drive with Gaussian inputs (RSOS)
  • A fossil species of the enigmatic early polypod fern genus Cystodium (Cystodiaceae) in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Scientific Reports)
  • Planktic foraminifera form their shells via metastable carbonate phases (Nature Communications)
  • A new, rare and distinctive species of Panorthoptera (Insecta, Archaeorthoptera) from the Upper Carboniferous of Xiaheyan (Ningxia, China) (Fossil Record)
  • Ultrastructural evidence for nutritional relationships between a marine colonial invertebrate (Bryozoa) and its bacterial symbionts (Symbiosis)
  • Depth related brachiopod faunas from the lower Cambrian Forteau Formation of southern Labrador and western Newfoundland, Canada (PalaeoE)
  • Dispersal in the Ordovician: Speciation patterns and paleobiogeographic analyses of brachiopods and trilobites (Palaeo 3)
  • Pulsed evolution shaped modern vertebrate body sizes (PNAS)
  • Italophiopsis derasmoi gen. and sp. nov. (Ionoscopiformes, Italophiopsidae fam. nov.) from the cretaceous of Pietraroja (Italy) (Thalassia Salentina)
  • A new rhynchocephalian (Reptilia: Lepidosauria) from the Late Jurassic of Solnhofen (Germany) and the origin of the marine Pleurosauridae (RSOS)
  • Spinosaur taxonomy and evolution of craniodental features: Evidence from Brazil (PLOS ONE)
  • The evolution of the manus of early theropod dinosaurs is characterized by high inter- and intraspecific variation (Journal of Anatomy)
  • The evolution of ornithischian quadrupedality (Journal of Iberian Geology)
  • Apparent sixth sense in theropod evolution: The making of a Cretaceous weathervane (PLOS ONE)
  • Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction (Nature Ecology & Evolution)
  • Highly derived eutherian mammals from the earliest Cretaceous of southern Britain (APP)
  • Feeding capability in the extinct giant Siamogale melilutra and comparative mandibular biomechanics of living Lutrinae (Scientific Reports)
  • Secondary osteons scale allometrically in mammalian humerus and femur (RSOS)
  • First evidence of “ancient deer” (cervid) in the late Miocene Bira Formation, Northern Israel (PLOS ONE)
  • Feeding ecology of Eucladoceros ctenoides as a proxy to track regional environmental variations in Europe during the early Pleistocene (Comptes Rendus Palevol)
  • Phylogeographic structure of the Common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L.): Late Pleistocene connections between Caucasus and Western European populations (PLOS ONE)
  • Scaldiporia vandokkumi, a new pontoporiid (Mammalia, Cetacea, Odontoceti) from the Late Miocene to earliest Pliocene of the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands) (PeerJ)
  • New records of the dolphin Albertocetus meffordorum (Odontoceti: Xenorophidae) from the lower Oligocene of South Carolina: Encephalization, sensory anatomy, postcranial morphology, and ontogeny of early odontocetes (PLOS ONE)
  • Anthropogenic Extinction Dominates Holocene Declines of West Indian Mammals (Annual Reviews)
  • Long-term patterns of body mass and stature evolution within the hominin lineage (RSOS)
  • Hominid butchers and biting crocodiles in the African Plio–Pleistocene (PNAS)
  • Determining climate change impacts on ecosystems: the role of palaeontology (Palaeontology)
  • Structure, not Bias (Journal of Paleontology)
  • Approaches to Macroevolution: 1. General Concepts and Origin of Variation (Evolutionary Biology)
  • Approaches to Macroevolution: 2. Sorting of Variation, Some Overarching Issues, and General Conclusions (Evolutionary Biology)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:

  • Vote for the Top 10 Taxa of 2017, deadline November 15 (PLOS Paleo)
  • A history of life on Earth: A masterclass on evolution with experts from the Natural History Museum, November 19, 2017 (Link)
  • The Science Ambassador Scholarship for female undergraduate and high school seniors, Deadline December 11, 2017 (Link)
  • Trekking Across the GOBE: From the Cambrian through the Katian, IGCP 653 Annual Meeting, June 3-7, 2018, Athens, Ohio, USA (Link)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Northern pterosaurs – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 18 (Musings of a Clumsy Paleontologist)
  • Why Pterosaurs Were the Weirdest Wonders on Wings (National Geographic)
  • Rhabdodontidae (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • Episode 21 – Dinosaurs, an Introduction (Common Descent)
  • How Dinosaurs Strutted Their Stuff (Laelaps)
  • What’s the Point of T-Rex’s Tiny Arms? (Link)
  • Teeth discovered in Dorset reveal secrets of the origins of modern mammals (Link)
  • Pinnipeds: The Evolution of Seals (Synapsida)
  • How Many White Rhino Species Are There? The Conversation Continues (Tetrapod Zoology)
  • Extinct cave lion cub in ‘perfect’ condition found in Siberia rising cloning hopes (Link)

Museums, Methods, and Musings:

Featured Folks and Fieldwork:

  • Selina R. Cole, Paleobiologist (Time Scavengers)
  • Know thy namesake: the story of Gordon W. Weir and fossil fishes (Sarah Z. Gibson)
  • Survey of New Park Lands at Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO Newsletter)
  • Author Interview: Bobby Boessenecker on the early dolphin Albertocetus (PLOS Paleo)

Art, books, 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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