Fossil Friday Roundup: September 21, 2018

Featured Image: Molfetta dinosaur tracks, photogrammetry derived 3D models and interpretations; 1-2, DEM and contour line map of a theropod footprint (contour lines have an interval of 0.2 cm). From Petti et al. (2018). CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Quantifying the dark data in museum fossil collections as palaeontology undergoes a second digital revolution (Biology Letters)
  • Vegetation response to exceptional global warmth during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (Nature Communications)
  • Spirematospermum wetzleri (Heer) Chandler (Zingiberaceae) from the Miocene of Weichang, Hebei Province, North China and the phytogeographic history of the genus (Journal of Palaeogeography)
  • Subfossil trees suggest enhanced Mediterranean hydroclimate variability at the onset of the Younger Dryas (Scientific Reports)
  • Potential carbon storage in biochar made from logging residue: Basic principles and Southern Oregon case studies (PLOS ONE)
  • Paleoparasitology in Russia, history and prospects (PalaeoE)
  • Evolution of metazoan morphological disparity (PNAS)
  • New suspension-feeding radiodont suggests evolution of microplanktivory in Cambrian macronekton (Nature Communications)
  • The psychomyiid genus Palerasnitsynus (Insecta, Trichoptera) in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Palaeodiversity)
  • Systematics of the genus Aphrophila Edwards with description of fifteen new species (Diptera: Tipulomorpha: Limoniidae) (Zootaxa)
  • Diversity of the Crinocheta (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea) from Early Miocene Chiapas amber, Mexico (Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas)
  • Redescription of three syringothyridid brachiopod species from the lower Carboniferous of the South Kitakami Belt, Japan (Sci. Rep. Niigata Univ. (Geology))
  • Middle Permian (Wordian) brachiopod fauna from Matsukawa, South Kitakami Belt, Japan, Part 2 (Sci. Rep., Niigata Univ. (Geology))
  • The origin of the Pycnodonteinae and relationship between gryphaeas and true pycnodontes (APP)
  • Drilling predation traces on recent limpets from northern Patagonia, Argentina (PalaeoE)
  • Bryozoan genera Fenestrulina and Microporella no longer confamilial; multi-gene phylogeny supports separation (Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society)
  • The first report of terrestrial Petroxestes from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation, western Liaoning, China (Journal of Palaeogeography)
  • New polybranchiaspiform fishes (Agnatha: Galeaspida) from the Middle Palaeozoic of China and their ecomorphological implications (PLOS ONE)
  • An examination of the Devonian fishes of Michigan (PeerJ)
  • Natural history and molecular evolution of demersal Mediterranean sharks and skates inferred by comparative phylogeographic and demographic analyses (PeerJ)
  • Evolution in chronic cold: varied loss of cellular response to heat in Antarctic notothenioid fish (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Effect of climate change on distribution of species of common horned frogs in South America (PLOS ONE)
  • A phylogenetic taxonomy of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of two new species from Myanmar (PeerJ)
  • Carcharodontosaurian remains (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal (Journal of Paleontology)
  • Juvenile spinosaurs (Theropoda: Spinosauridae) from the middle Cretaceous of Morocco and implications for spinosaur ecology (Cretaceous Research)
  • First endocranial description of a South American hadrosaurid: The neuroanatomy of Secernosaurus koerneri from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina (APP)
  • The use of aerial and close-range photogrammetry in the study of dinosaur tracksites: Lower Cretaceous (upper Aptian/lower Albian) Molfetta ichnosite (Apulia, southern Italy) (PalaeoE)
  • A new Eocene anagalid (Mammalia: Euarchontoglires) from Mongolia and its implications for the group’s phylogeny and dispersal (Scientific Reports)
  • Short-tailed mice with a long fossil record: the genus Leggadina (Rodentia: Muridae) from the Quaternary of Queensland, Australia (PeerJ)
  • Testing hypotheses for the function of the carnivoran baculum using finite-element analysis (ProcB)
  • Karnatukul (Serpent’s Glen): A new chronology for the oldest site in Australia’s Western Desert (PLOS ONE)
  • Maternal genetic features of the Iron Age Tagar population from Southern Siberia (1st millennium BC) (PLOS ONE)
  • Spatial scale changes the relationship between beta diversity, species richness and latitude (RSOS)
  • Is biodiversity aging? Heuristic questions on the taxonomic diversity in the Phanerozoic (Biodiversity Journal)

PrePrints and PostPrints:

  • A re-interpretation of the ambulacral system of Eumorphocystis (Blastozoa: Echinodermata) and its bearing on the evolution of early crinoids (PaleorXiv)
  • A new Lower Cretaceous ichthyosaur from Russia reveals skull shape conservatism within Ophthalmosaurinae (PaleorXiv)
  • Hypothesis: Avian flight originated in arboreal archosaurs gliding on membranous wings (PeerJ)
  • Bayesian tip dating reveals heterogeneous morphological clocks in Mesozoic birds (bioRXiv)
  • Detecting archaic introgression using an unadmixed outgroup (PLOS ONE)

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)
    • The 1st Palaeontological Virtual Congress: new abstract deadline, and registration payment methods (SVPOW)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)


News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Researchers find Holy Grail of palaeontology – 558 million-year-old fat reveals earliest known animal (Link)
  • The tyrannosaurus from the Southern Hemisphere (Letters from Gondwana)
  • Why did dinosaurs get so big? (Discover Wildlife)
  • A mystery dinosaur in the nation’s basement (Washington Post)
  • Following in the Steps of a Peculiar Protomammal (Laelaps)
  • What makes a mammal a mammal? Our spine, say scientists (NSF)
  • Tiny fossils reveal how shrinking was essential for successful evolution (Link)
  • Modified Munchies of Many Mouse-eared Myotises (Synapsida)
  • Specimen of the week 359: The Infant Elephant Molar (UCL Blogs)

Methods and Musings:

Museums, Folks and Fieldwork:

Arts, 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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