Fossil Friday Roundup: August 31, 2018

Featured Image: Lower first molars of the type specimen of D. carinthiacus (LMK-Pal 5508) in occlusal view. From Fuss et al. (2018), CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • The Alboran volcanic-arc modulated the Messinian faunal exchange and salinity crisis (Scientific Reports)
  • Marine microorganisms as amber inclusions: insights from coastal forests of New Caledonia (Fossil Record)
  • Amber in prehistoric Iberia: New data and a review (PLOS ONE)
  • Charophytes from the Upper Cretaceous to probably Paleocene Jiaozhou Formation in the Jiaolai Basin (Eastern China) (Acta Geologica Sinica)
  • Plant silicon and phytolith research and the Earth-life superdiscipline (Frontiers in Plant Science)
  • Macrofossil evidence unveiling evolution of male cones in Ephedraceae (Gnetidae) (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • The Rapoport effect and the climatic variability hypothesis in Early Jurassic ammonites (Palaeontology)
  • Parasitoid biology preserved in mineralized fossils (Nature Communications)
  • A new lower actinopterygian fish from the Upper Mississippian Bluefield Formation of West Virginia, USA (PeerJ)
  • Faunal composition and paleoenvironment of the Arundel Clay (Potomac Formation; Early Cretaceous), Maryland, USA (PalaeoE)
  • Palaeobatrachid frog from the late Miocene of Northern Caucasus, Russia (PalaeoE)
  • Eocene Western European endemic genus Thaumastosaurus: new insights into the question “Are the Ranidae known prior to the Oligocene?” (PeerJ)
  • Anatomical notes and discussion of the first described aetosaur Stagonolepis robertsoni (Archosauria: Suchia) from the Upper Triassic of Europe, and the use of plesiomorphies in aetosaur biochronology (PeerJ)
  • The Middle Triassic procolophonid Kapes bentoni: computed tomography of the skull and skeleton (Papers in Paleontology)
  • Articulated avian remains from the early Oligocene of Poland adds to our understanding of Passerine evolution (PalaeoE)
  • Evolution of pollination by frugivorous birds in Neotropical Myrtaceae (PeerJ)
  • A well-preserved partial scapula from Japan and the reconstruction of the triosseal canal of plotopterids (PeerJ)
  • Adaptive evolution of synchronous egg-hatching in compensation for the loss of parental care (ProcB)
  • Bony pseudoteeth of extinct pelagic birds (Aves, Odontopterygiformes) formed through a response of bone cells to tooth-specific epithelial signals under unique conditions (Scientific Reports)
  • The temnospondyl Parotosuchus nasutus (v. Meyer, 1858) from the Early Triassic Middle Buntsandstein of Germany (Palaeodiversity)
  • Contribution to the validity and taxonomic status of the European fossil shrew Sorex subaraneus and the origin of Sorex araneus (Soricidae, Eulipotyphla, Insectivora, Mammalia) (PalaeoE)
  • Sagittal plane fore hoof unevenness is associated with fore and hindlimb asymmetrical force vectors in the sagittal and frontal planes (PLOS ONE)
  • Multiproxy evidence for leaf-browsing and closed habitats in extinct proboscideans (Mammalia, Proboscidea) from Central Chile (PNAS)
  • Analyses of ovarian activity reveal repeated evolution of post-reproductive lifespans in toothed whales (Scientific Reports)
  • On the relationship between maxillary molar root shape and jaw kinematics in Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus (RSOS)
  • Using machine learning to classify extant apes and interpret the dental morphology of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor (PaleoBios)
  • mpact of climate change on the transition of Neanderthals to modern humans in Europe (PNAS)
  • Earliest evidence of caries lesion in hominids reveal sugar-rich diet for a Middle Miocene dryopithecine from Europe (PLOS ONE)
  • Virtual reconstruction of the Upper Palaeolithic skull from Zlatý Kůň, Czech Republic: Sex assessment and morphological affinity (PLOS ONE)
  • A simple method for data partitioning based on relative evolutionary rates (PeerJ)
  • The fastest animals and vehicles are neither the biggest nor the fastest over lifetime (Scientific Reports)
  • Dispersal mode and spatial extent influence distance-decay patterns in pond metacommunities (PLOS ONE)
  • Species diversity rises exponentially with the number of available resources in a multi-trait competition model (ProcB)
  • Physical foundations of biological complexity (PNAS)
  • Thirty two years of continuous assessment reveal first year university biology students in Australia are rapidly abandoning beliefs in theistic involvement in human origins (Evolution: Education and Outreach)

PrePrints and PostPrints:

  • Genotyping-by-sequencing and ecological niche modeling illuminate phylogeography, admixture, and Pleistocene range dynamics in quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) (PeerJ)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • 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)
  • 1st Palaeontological Virtual Congress, December 1–15, 2018 (Link)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)


Resources and Newsletters:

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Up to the Neck in Plesiosaurs (Laelaps)
  • What does it mean for a vertebra to be “horizontal”? (SVPOW)
  • When is a vertebra “horizontal”, part 2 (SVPOW)
  • Episode 42 – Spinosaurs (Common Descent)
  • Spinosaurus Was a Terrible Swimmer (Laelaps)
  • Dryosaurus elderae and the revenge of Nanosaurus agilis (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • Fossil Friday – Invictarx zephyri (Valley of the Mastodon)
  • Mammal Forerunner that Reproduced Like a Reptile Sheds Light on Brain Evolution (Link)
  • Unravelling the Evolutionary Relationships of a New Family of Eutherian Mammals (Inside the Royal Tyrrell Museum)
  • Miocene (Pt 9): The First Sabretooths in Europe (Synapsida)

Methods and Musings:

  • Preprints do not promote confusion or distortion in the public understanding of science (GTV)
  • Down in flames (SVPOW)

Museums, Folks and Fieldwork:

Arts, Books, Culture, Fun:

  • Vintage Dinosaur Art: My Favorite Dinosaurs – Part 1 (LITC)

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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