Fossil Friday Roundup: Jun 1, 2018

Featured Image: A reconstruction of the antiarch Phymolepis cuifengshanensis from the Devonian of China. Art by Dinghua Yang. From Wang and Zhu (2018), CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • The Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte and the evolutionary transition of Cambrian marine life (Journal of the Geological Society)
  • Correction to: Mandibulate convergence in an armoured Cambrian stem chelicerate (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Assessing canalisation of intraspecific variation on a macroevolutionary scale: the case of crinoid arms through the Phanerozoic (PeerJ)
  • Unravelling the origin of the basket stars and their allies (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea, Euryalida) (Scientific Reports)
  • Redescription of Phymolepis cuifengshanensis (Antiarcha: Yunnanolepididae) using high-resolution computed tomography and new insights into anatomical details of the endocranium in antiarchs (PeerJ)
  • Neurocranial anatomy of an enigmatic Early Devonian fish sheds light on early osteichthyan evolution (eLife)
  • A comparative view on sex differentiation and gametogenesis genes in Lungfish and Coelacanths (GBE)
  • The origin of squamates revealed by a Middle Triassic lizard from the Italian Alps (Nature)
  • A new fossil species of Boa Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata, Boidae), from the Pleistocene of Marie-Galante Island (French West Indies) (JVP)
  • Common lizards break Dollo’s law of irreversibility: Genome-wide phylogenomics support a single origin of viviparity and re-evolution of oviparity (MPE)
  • Redescription and affinities of Hulsanpes perlei (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia (PeerJ)
  • The smallest biggest theropod dinosaur: a tiny pedal ungual of a juvenile Spinosaurus from the Cretaceous of Morocco (PeerJ)
  • Paleontology, taphonomy, and sedimentology of the Mygatt-Moore Quarry, a large dinosaur bonebed in the Morrison Formation, western Colorado—Implications for Upper Jurassic dinosaur preservation modes (Geology of the Intermountain West)
  • Evidence for niche partitioning among ground-height browsing sauropods from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of North America (Geology of the Intermountain West)
  • Fossilized skin reveals coevolution with feathers and metabolism in feathered dinosaurs and early birds (Nature Communications)
  • A taxonomical revision of the Confuciusornithiformes (Aves: Pygostylia) (Vertebrata PalAsiatica)
  • Rapid recovery of life at ground zero of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (Nature)
  • Vocal specialization through tracheal elongation in an extinct Miocene pheasant from China (Scientific Reports)
  • Biogeographic origins of Darwin’s finches (Thraupidae: Coerebinae) (The Auk)
  • Synchrotron radiation reveals the identity of the large felid from Monte Argentario (Early Pleistocene, Italy) (Scientific Reports)
  • A Late Cretaceous mammal from Brazil and the first radioisotopic age for the Bauru Group (RSOS)
  • Deciduous Tusks and Small Permanent Tusks of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach, 1799) Found on Beaches in The Netherlands (Quaternary)
  • Shanxihippus dermatorhinus comb. nov. with comparisons to Old World hipparions with specialized nasal apparati (RIPS)
  • Deglaciation of the Pacific coastal corridor directly preceded the human colonization of the Americas (Science Advances)
  • Outstanding questions in the study of archaic hominin admixture (PLOS Genetics)
  • Comment (Case 3506) — Conservation of Allosaurus Marsh, 1877 (Dinosauria, Theropoda): additional data in support of the proposed neotype for its type species Allosaurus fragilis Marsh, 1877 (Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature)
  • The shift of biogeochemical cycles indicative of the progressive marine ecosystem collapse across the Permian-Triassic boundary: An analog to modern oceans (Science China Earth Sciences)
  • Exceptional preservation of a Cretaceous intestine provides a glimpse of the early ecological diversity of spiny-rayed fishes (Acanthomorpha, Teleostei) (Scientific Reports)
  • First Radiological Study of a Complete Dental Ontogeny Sequence of an Extinct Equid: Implications for Equidae Life History and Taphonomy (Scientific Reports)
  • Cranial anatomy of Bellusaurus sui (Dinosauria: Eusauropoda) from the Middle-Late Jurassic Shishugou Formation of northwest China and a review of sauropod cranial ontogeny (PeerJ)

Pre-Prints and Post-Prints:

  • Wear, tear and systematic repair: Testing models of growth dynamics in conodonts with high-resolution imaging (PaleorXiv)
  • Using Models to Correct Data: Paleodiversity and the Fossil Record (PhilSci Archive)
  • Extreme and rapid bursts of functional adaptations shape bite force in amniotes (bioRxiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • 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)
  • 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)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • This ancient fish was bigger than a whale shark—and faster than scientists ever imagined (Science)
  • Episode 92: Squamate Origins (Palaeocast)
  • Pterosaur jaw shape – what does it mean? (Musings of a Clumsy Paleontologist)
  • Why we think giant pterosaurs could fly (Mark Witton)
  • In near-complete fossil form, only known Kansas dinosaur reappears after 100 million years (Link)
  • Scientists discover the fossilized skull of a mammal-like critter under a dinosaur’s foot in Utah — and then it gets even weirder (Link)
  • The Laziness of Venomous Shrews (Synapsida)

Methods and Musings:

Museums, Folks and Fieldwork:

Art, Books, Culture, 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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