Fossil Friday Roundup: April 6, 2018

Featured Image: webpic Images used to compare data collection methods. Specimens were collected from locality number TT92-3 (“Dori’s Tuff”). From Chang (2018).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Combined morphological and phylogenomic re-examination of malawimonads, a critical taxon for inferring the evolutionary history of eukaryotes (RSOS)
  • Distribution modelling of pre-Columbian California grasslands with soil phytoliths: New insights for prehistoric grassland ecology and restoration (PLOS ONE)
  • Reinvestigating an enigmatic Late Cretaceous monocot: morphology, taxonomy, and biogeography of Viracarpon (PeerJ)
  • Positive biodiversity–productivity relationships in forests: climate matters (Biology Letters)
  • New fossil genus and species of Sinoalidae (Hemiptera: Cercopoidea) from the Middle to Upper Jurassic deposits in northeastern China (European Journal of Entomology)
  • DNA barcoding unravels contrasting evolutionary history of two widespread Asian tiger moth species during the Late Pleistocene (PLOS ONE)
  • Unlocking preservation bias in the amber insect fossil record through experimental decay (PLOS ONE)
  • Earliest ontogeny of early Cambrian acrotretoid brachiopods — first evidence for metamorphosis and its implications (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Revisión morfológica de las tortugas del género Notoemys (Paleontología Mexicana)
  • Basilemys morrinensis, a new species of nanhsiungchelyid turtle from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta, Canada (JVP)
  • A case study of developmental palaeontology in Stereosternum tumidum (Mesosauridae, Parareptilia) (Fossil Record)
  • The Only Known Jawed Vertebrate with Four Eyes and the Bauplan of the Pineal Complex (Current Biology)
  • Taxonomic reassessment of Clevosaurus latidens Fraser, 1993 (Lepidosauria, Rhynchocephalia) and rhynchocephalian phylogeny based on parsimony and Bayesian inference (Journal of Paleontology)
  • Geographic variation in body size and its relationship with environmental gradients in the Oriental Garden Lizard, Calotes versicolor (Ecology and Evolution)
  • Nanostructure, osteopontin, and mechanical properties of calcitic avian eggshell (Science Advances)
  • Negligible effect of tooth reduction on body mass in Mesozoic birds (Vertebrata PalAsiatica)
  • Correction: Correlative microscopy of the constituents of a dinosaur rib fossil and hosting mudstone: Implications on diagenesis and fossil preservation (PLOS ONE)
  • Correction to ‘Estimating maximum bite performance in Tyrannosaurus rex using multi-body dynamics’ (Biology Letters)
  • A walk in the maze: variation in Late Jurassic tridactyl dinosaur tracks from the Swiss Jura Mountains (NW Switzerland) (PeerJ)
  • Genetic diversity and drivers of dwarfism in extinct island emu populations (Biology Letters)
  • Spatial and temporal divergence of the torquatus species group of the subterranean rodent Ctenomys (Contributions to Zoology)
  • Fossil Focus: Reimagining fossil cats (Palaeontology[Online])
  • Neogene and Quaternary fossil remains of beaked whales (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Ziphiidae) from deep-sea deposits off Crozet and Kerguelen islands, Southern Ocean (Geodiversitas)
  • Human bony labyrinth is an indicator of population history and dispersal from Africa (PNAS)
  • The prevalence of terraced treescapes in analyses of phylogenetic data sets (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Including autapomorphies is important for paleontological tip-dating with clocklike data, but not with non-clock data (PeerJ)
  • webpic: A flexible web application for collecting distance and count measurements from images (PLOS ONE)

Pre-Prints and Post-Prints:

  • Research Infrastructures offer capacity to address scientific questions never attempted before: Are all taxa equal? (PeerJ)
  • Diversity of raptor dinosaurs in southeastern North America revealed by the first definite record from North Carolina (PeerJ)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • 11th Annual SeAVP Conference, May 23–27, 2018, North Carolina (Link)
  • Trekking Across the GOBE: From the Cambrian through the Katian, IGCP 653 Annual Meeting, June 3-7, 2018, Athens, Ohio, USA (Link)
  • European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Annual Meeting, Caprica, June 26–July 1, 2018 (Link)
  • 5th International Palaeontological Congress (IPC5), July 9–13, 2018, France (Link)
  • Flugsaurier 2018 Circular, August 10–14, 2018, Los Angeles (Link), Registration Deadline April 9
  • 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)


  • Raymond M. Alf Award for Excellence in Paleontological Research and Education, deadline April 13, 2018 (Alf Museum)
  • The AWG Undergraduate Excellence in Paleontology Award, deadline April 15, 2018 (PaleoSociety)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

Methods and Musings:

  • Awarding grants by throwing dice (SVPOW)
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) I: Current Climate-Driven Impacts (Time Scavengers)
  • The End of a Tradition (Raptormaniacs)
  • The top 10 most popular SV-POW! posts (SVPOW)
  • How to make an impact in science policy as a graduate student (PLOS ECR Community)
  • Citations of lists – a small moan (Archosaur Musings)
  • History and Value (Extinct)
  • Faunal Interchanges, High School Students, and the Paleobiology Database (Project FOSSIL)
  • A paleontologist who teaches anatomy is good for medicine and science (Link)

Museums, Folks and Fieldwork:

  • Prehistoric Beast of the Week Visits the Canadian Museum of Nature (PBW)
  • The mounted skeleton of Patagotitan at the AMNH (SVPOW)
  • World class collections make a world class museum (Alf Museum)
  • Museum Collection Visit Bingo (PLOS Paleo)
  • A Day in the Life of John (What’s in John’s Freezer?)
  • Holy, Toledo! Life-Sized Flying Reptiles at the Zoo! (Dave’s Dinosaurs)
  • India’s paleontologists fight destruction of its fossil riches (Link)

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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