Fossil Friday Roundup: February 2, 2018

Featured Image: A new specimen of Archaeopteryx, from Rauhut et al (2018). CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Strontium isotopes reveal weathering processes in lateritic covers in southern China with implications for paleogeographic reconstructions (PLOS ONE)
  • Geophysical investigations unravel the vestiges of ancient meandering channels and their dynamics in tidal landscapes (Scientific Reports)
  • Remote collection of microorganisms at two depths in a freshwater lake using an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) (PeerJ)
  • Reversing functional extinction of mammals prompts a rethink of paradigms about seed fate in arid Australia (RSOS)
  • Parallel diversifications of Cremastosperma and Mosannona (Annonaceae), tropical rainforest trees tracking Neogene upheaval of South America (RSOS)
  • A review of bottom-up vs. top-down control of sponges on Caribbean fore-reefs: what’s old, what’s new, and future directions (PeerJ)
  • A humid early Holocene in Yemen interpreted from palaeoecology and taxonomy of freshwater ostracods (Journal of Micropalaeontology)
  • Early Cambrian fuxianhuiids from China reveal origin of the gnathobasic protopodite in euarthropods (Scientific Reports)
  • An early and mysterious histerid inquiline from Cretaceous Burmese amber (Coleoptera, Histeridae) (Zookeys)
  • The occurrence of a shallow-water Ammobaculoides assemblage in the Middle Jurassic (Bajocian) Dhruma Formation of Central Saudi Arabia (Journal of Micropalaeontology)
  • A new stem group echinoid from the Triassic of China leads to a revised macroevolutionary history of echinoids during the end-Permian mass extinction (RSOS)
  • Special Issue: Limb Development and Evolution (Genetics)
  • Anatomical network analysis of the musculoskeletal system reveals integration loss and parcellation boost during the fins-to-limbs transition (Evolution)
  • Redescription and phylogenetic reassessment of Asialepidotus shingyiensis (Holostei: Halecomorphi) from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of China (Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society)
  • The ecological origins of snakes as revealed by skull evolution (Nature Communications)
  • Redescription of Calyptosuchus (Stagonolepis) wellesi (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia: Aetosauria) from the Late Triassic of the Southwestern United States with a discussion of genera in vertebrate paleontology (PeerJ)
  • A Middle Triassic Pachypleurosaur (Diapsida: Eosauropterygia) from a restricted carbonate ramp in the Western Carpathians (Gutenstein Formation, Fatric Unit): Paleogeographic Implications (Geologica Carpathica)
  • The oldest Archaeopteryx (Theropoda: Avialiae): a new specimen from the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian boundary of Schamhaupten, Bavaria (PeerJ)
  • Sauropod dinosaur remains from a new Early Jurassic locality in the Central High Atlas of Morocco (APP)
  • A diverse mammal-dominated, footprint assemblage from wetland deposits in the Lower Cretaceous of Maryland (Scientific Reports)
  • New Melissiodontinae (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the Paleogene of south-east Serbia (Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments)
  • Differential influences of allometry, phylogeny and environment on the rostral shape diversity of extinct South American notoungulates (RSOS)
  • Evolutionary changes of Hox genes and relevant regulatory factors provide novel insights into mammalian morphological modifications (Integrative Zoology)
  • Arms race of temporal partitioning between carnivorous and herbivorous mammals (Scientific Reports)
  • Insular mammalian fauna dynamics and paleogeography: A lesson from the Western Mediterranean islands (Integrative Zoology)
  • Palaeoecology of giraffe tracks in Late Pleistocene aeolianites on the Cape south coast (South African Journal of Science)
  • Warning signals of biodiversity collapse across gradients of tropical forest loss (Scientific Reports)
  • Shedding light on the Early Pleistocene of TD6 (Gran Dolina, Atapuerca, Spain): The technological sequence and occupational inferences (PLOS ONE)
  • The cranium of Sts 5 (‘Mrs Ples’) in relation to sexual dimorphism of Australopithecus africanus (South African Journal of Science)
  • Palaeodemographics of individuals in Dinaledi Chamber using dental remains (South African Journal of Science)
  • The Rise of the Anthroposphere since 50,000 Years: An Ecological Replacement of Megaherbivores by Humans in Terrestrial Ecosystems? (Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution)
  • The evolution of modern human brain shape (Science Advances)
  • The fossil teeth of the Peking Man (Scientific Reports)

Pre-Prints and Post-Prints:

  • Prootic anatomy of a juvenile tyrannosauroid from New Jersey and its implications for the morphology and evolution of the tyrannosauroid braincase (PeerJ)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Annual Meeting, St. George, Utah, Feb. 16–18, 2018 (Link)
  • Burpee PaleoFest, March 3-4, 2018 (Link)
  • Lyell Meeting 2018: Mass extinctions – understanding the world’s worst crises (Link)
  • Trekking Across the GOBE: From the Cambrian through the Katian, IGCP 653 Annual Meeting, June 3-7, 2018, Athens, Ohio, USA (Link)
  • 5th International Palaeontological Congress (IPC5), July 9–13, 2018, France (Link)
  • 78th Annual Meeting, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), October 17–20, 2018, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Link)
  • 2018 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, November 4–7, 2018, Indianapolis, Indiana (Link)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)


  • Nominations For A Student Representative To Council, deadline February 21, 2018 (Paleo Society)
  • Paleontological Society to Sponsor Summer Policy Intern at AGI, Application deadline March 1, 2018 (Paleo Society)
  • The AWG Undergraduate Excellence in Paleontology Award, deadline April 15, 2018 (PaleoSociety)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Paleo Profile: Kootenay Bristle Worm (Laelaps)
  • Episode 86: Coal (Palaeocast)
  • Specimen of the Week 328: Sawfish Rostrum (UCL Blogs)
  • Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month January 2018 (UCL Blogs)
  • Glowing Salamanders Shine Light on Evolution (Link)
  • This giant tortoise was chomped by an ancient mystery croc (Earth Touch News)
  • Snakes. Why did it have to be giant snakes? (PLOS Paleo)
  • On the morphological variability of Ichniotherium tracks and evolution of locomotion in the sistergroup of amniotes (PeerJ)
  • The oldest Archaeopteryx (Letters from Gondwana)
  • Author Interview: Kimi Chapelle & Massospondylus Skull Anatomy (PLOS Paleo)
  • Did tyrannosaurs smile like crocodiles? A discussion of cranial epidermal correlates in tyrannosaurid dinosaurs (Mark Witton)
  • OMNH 1331, another big apatosaurine caudal (SVPOW)
  • How crazy are the cervicals of Mendozasaurus? (SVPOW)
  • Paleo Profile: The Mansaoura Lizard (Laelaps)
  • A Point about Horned Dinosaurs (Laelaps)
  • 34 million year old carnivore named after the Egyptian god of the Underworld (PLOS Paleo)
  • Speaker Series 2018: Late Ice Age Mammals on Vancouver Island (Inside the Royal Tyrrell Museum)
  • The Pig Family: Suids, Suines, and Swine (Synapsida)
  • How Did Horses Get to Just One Toe? (Time Scavengers)
  • Episode 27 – Domestication (Common Descent)

Museums, Methods, and Musings:

Featured Folks and Fieldwork:

Art, books, culture, and fun:

  • New Perspectives in Pterosaur Palaeobiology (Archosaur Musings)
  • Palaeontologists on the books and toys that inspired a lifelong love of dinosaurs (Link)

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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