Fossil Friday Roundup: April 20, 2018

Featured Image: Skull of Sellamynodon zimborensis (holotype, UBB MPS 15795), a Late Eocene-Early Oligocene amynodontid from Dobârca (Romania). From Tissier et al. (2018), CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • The Cambrian–Ordovician succession at Lanna, Sweden: stratigraphy and depositional environments (Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences)
  • Neogene integrative stratigraphy and timescale of China (Science China Earth Sciences)
  • Grotta Romanelli (southern Italy, Apulia): Legacies and issues in excavating a key site for the Pleistocene of the Mediterranean (RIPS)
  • Using virtual reality to estimate aesthetic values of coral reefs (RSOS)
  • New plant fossils from the Lower Cretaceous of the Parnaíba Basin, Northeastern Brazil: Southern Laurasia links (Brazilian Journal of Geology)
  • Plant DNA metabarcoding of lake sediments: How does it represent the contemporary vegetation (PLOS ONE)
  • Morphometric Approach to determination of Lower Jurassic siphovalvulinid foraminifera (RIPS)
  • Phylogeography of hydrothermal vent stalked barnacles: a new species fills a gap in the Indian Ocean ‘dispersal corridor’ hypothesis (RSOS)
  • Ecological opportunity may facilitate diversification in Palearctic freshwater organisms: a case study on hydrobiid gastropods (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Calcareous nannofossil and ammonite integrated biostratigraphy across the Jurassic – Cretaceous boundary strata of the Kopanitsa composite section (West Srednogorie Unit, southwest Bulgaria) (Geologica Carpathica)
  • A new lineage of Cretaceous jewel wasps (Chalcidoidea: Diversinitidae) (PeerJ)
  • The first mitochondrial genome of the model echinoid Lytechinus variegatus and insights into Odontophoran phylogenetics (Genomics)
  • The southernmost occurrence of Brachycarcharias (Lamniformes, Odontaspididae) from the Eocene of Antarctica provides new information about the paleobiogeography and paleobiology of Paleogene sand tiger sharks (RIPS)
  • Why do placentas evolve? Evidence for a morphological advantage during pregnancy in live-bearing fish (PLOS ONE)
  • Novos Sítios Fossilíferos da Formação Romualdo, Cretáceo Inferior, Bacia do Araripe, Exu, Pernambuco, Nordeste do Brasil [New Fossiliferous Sites of the Romualdo Formation, Lower Cretaceous, Araripe Basin, Exu, Pernambuco, Northeast of Brazil] (Anuário do Instituto de Geociências – UFRJ)
  • Evidence for late Pleistocene origin of Astyanax mexicanus cavefish (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • The role of the notochord in amniote vertebral column segmentation (Developmental Biology)
  • Homeostatic and regenerative neurogenesis in salamanders (Progress in Neurobiology)
  • New information on the Cenomanian bothremydid turtle Algorachelus based on new, well-preserved material from Spain (Fossil Record)
  • A new species of Peritresius Leidy, 1856 (Testudines: Pan-Cheloniidae) from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) of Alabama, USA, and the occurrence of the genus within the Mississippi Embayment of North America (PLOS ONE)
  • The earliest known occurrence of Elgaria (Squamata: Anguidae) and a minimum age for crown Gerrhonotinae: Fossils from the Split Rock Formation, Wyoming, USA (PalaeoE)
  • Evidence for survival in a Middle Jurassic plesiosaur with a humeral pathology: What can we infer of plesiosaur behaviour? (PalaeoE)
  • New Crocodyliform specimens from Recôncavo-Tucano Basin (Early Cretaceous) of Bahia, Brazil (Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências)
  • Dinosaur diversification linked with the Carnian Pluvial Episode (Nature Communications)
  • The rise and fall of an ancient Adélie penguin ‘supercolony’ at Cape Adare, Antarctica (RSOS)
  • Evolutionary history of Mexican domesticated and wild Meleagris gallopavo (Genetics Selection Evolution)
  • A review of the Quaternary Scelidotheriinae (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Tardigrada) from the Tarija-Padcaya basin, Bolivia (Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências)
  • A new species of Gulo from the Early Pliocene Gray Fossil Site (Eastern United States); rethinking the evolution of wolverines (PeerJ)
  • Canis aureus (Carnivore: Canidae) (Mammalian Species)
  • New data on Amynodontidae (Mammalia, Perissodactyla) from Eastern Europe: Phylogenetic and palaeobiogeographic implications around the Eocene-Oligocene transition (PLOS ONE)
  • Clawed forelimbs allow northern seals to eat like their ancient ancestors (RSOS)
  • Vascularization of the trachea in the bottlenose dolphin: comparison with bovine and evidence for evolutionary adaptations to diving (RSOS)
  • Salishicetus meadi, a new aetiocetid from the late Oligocene of Washington State and implications for feeding transitions in early mysticete evolution (RSOS)
  • A new large squalodelphinid (Cetacea, Odontoceti) from Peru sheds light on the Early Miocene platanistoid disparity and ecology (RSOS)
  • A new archaic baleen whale Toipahautea waitaki (early Late Oligocene, New Zealand) and the origins of crown Mysticeti (RSOS)
  • Chronological reassessment of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition and Early Upper Paleolithic cultures in Cantabrian Spain (PLOS ONE)
  • The Silurian hypothesis: would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record? (International Journal of Astrobiology)

Pre-Prints and Post-Prints:

  • A Whole-Plant Monocot from the Early Cretaceous (BioRXiv)
  • Evolution and extinction of Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) cephalopods from the López de Bertodano Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctica (PaleorXiv)
  • An unexpectedly abundant new genus of black flies (Diptera, Simuliidae) from Upper Cretaceous Taimyr amber of Ugolyak, with discussion of the early evolution of birds at high latitudes (PaleorXiv)
  • Digging their own macroevolutionary grave: fossoriality as an evolutionary dead end in snakes (PaleorXiv)
  • Redescription of Phymolepis cuifengshanensis (Antiarcha: Yunnanolepididae) using high-resolution computed tomography and new insights into anatomical details of the endocranium in antiarchs (PeerJ)
  • Comparative cranial morphology of the Late Cretaceous protostegid sea turtle Desmatochelys lowii (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)


  • The PLOS ONE Early Career Researcher Travel Awards in the Physical Sciences, Multiple Deadlines (Link)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • When sex differences lead to extinction (Link)
  • Old Man of the Sea: Ancient Alabaman sea turtle ancestor (PLOS Paleo)
  • Fossil Friday – Snake Vertebra (Valley of the Mastodon)
  • Paleo Profile: The Climbing Dwarf (Laelaps)
  • A Giant Ichthyosaur from the United Kingdom (Dr. Neurosaurus)
  • The Dinosaur That Wasn’t (Laelaps)
  • Episode 89: Teeth and herbivory in reptiles (Palaeocast)
  • All the dinosaurs found in Wales mapped (Link)
  • What I think about Ornithischia (Matthew Baron)
  • After 75 million years the Velociraptor gets recognition for the killing machine it was (Link)
  • Enough with the “Duck-Billed Dinosaurs” (Tetrapod Zoology)
  • Archaeopteryx: Beast of the Week (Prehistoric Beast of the Week)
  • Specimen of the Week 338: a tour of the Platypus Skeleton (UCL Blogs)
  • Plants play greater role than megaherbivore extinctions in changes to ecosystem structure (Link)
  • The Curious Necks of Giant Rodents (Synapsida)
  • These 90,000-Year-Old Wooden Tools Weren’t Even Made by Humans (Link)

Methods and Musings:

Museums, Folks and Fieldwork:

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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