Fossil Friday Roundup: November 30, 2018

Featured Image: Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) of feathers. From Schweitzer et al. (2018), CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Value of species and the evolution of conservation ethics (RSOS)
  • New perspectives in the study of the Earth’s magnetic field and climate connection: The use of transfer entropy (PLOS ONE)
  • Multi-decadal to centennial hydro-climate variability and linkage to solar forcing in the Western Mediterranean during the last 1000 years (Scientific Reports)
  • Exploration of deep terrestrial subsurface microbiome in Late Cretaceous Deccan traps and underlying Archean basement, India (Scientific Reports)
  • AGMT3-D: A software for 3-D landmarks-based geometric morphometric shape analysis of archaeological artifacts (PLOS ONE)
  • Progressive Photonics: Methods and applications of sequential imaging using visible and non-visible spectra to enhance data-yield and facilitate forensic interpretation of fossils (Journal of Paleontological Techniques)
  • Preservation potential of keratin in deep time (PLOS ONE)
  • Early Archean origin of Photosystem II (Geobiology)
  • The Core Eudicot Boom Registered in Myanmar Amber (Scientific Reports)
  • Grassland fire ecology has roots in the late Miocene (PNAS)
  • A Macroscopic Charcoal and Multiproxy Record from Peat Recovered from Depression Marshes in Longleaf Pine Sandhills, Florida, USA (Quaternary)
  • Reinterpretation of an endangered taxon based on integrative taxonomy: The case of Cynara baetica (Compositae) (PLOS ONE)
  • Seasonality modulates the predictive skills of diatom based salinity transfer functions (PLOS ONE)
  • Biodiversity of museum and bulk field samples compared: The Eocene Chiampo sponge fauna, Lessini Mountains, Italy (APP)
  • Oldest Record of the Bivalve Dosinisca Dall and Its Implications (Indian Academy of Sciences)
  • Microbial-tubeworm associations in a 440 million year old hydrothermal vent community (ProcB)
  • A needle in a haystack: Mesozoic origin of parasitism in Strepsiptera revealed by first definite Cretaceous primary larva (Insecta) (PeerJ)
  • Independent origins of female penis and its coevolution with male vagina in cave insects (Psocodea: Prionoglarididae) (Biology Letters)
  • Holocene benthic foraminiferal and ostracod assemblages in a paleo-hydrothermal vent system of Campi Flegrei (Campania, South Italy) (PalaeoE)
  • Postmortem transport in fossil and modern shelled cephalopods (PeerJ)
  • First record of the ammonite genus Graefenbergites (Perisphinctoidea: Passendorferiinae) from the late Oxfordian of the Swabian Alb (SW Germany) (Palaeodiversity)
  • A new look at an old question: when did the second whole genome duplication occur in vertebrate evolution? (Genome Biology)
  • Amphioxus functional genomics and the origins of vertebrate gene regulation (Nature)
  • The dentition of a eugeneodontiform shark from the Lower Pennsylvanian of Derbyshire, UK (APP)
  • Historical biogeography reveals new independent evolutionary lineages in the Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group (Actinopterygii: Catostomidae) (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • How (and why) fins turn into limbs: insights from anglerfish (EESTRSE)
  • Unique pelvic fin in a tetrapod-like fossil fish, and the evolution of limb patterning (PNAS)
  • Phylogeny, ecology and deep time: 2D outline analysis of anuran skulls from the Early Cretaceous to the Recent (Palaeontology)
  • A new Early Cretaceous Anuran amphibian from Northeast China (Geological Bulletin of China)
  • Current Perspectives on Tooth Implantation, Attachment, and Replacement in Amniota (Frontiers in Physiology)
  • Cranial anatomy of the gorgonopsian Cynariops robustus based on CT-reconstruction (PLOS ONE)
  • Tanystropheid archosauromorphs in the Lower Triassic of Gondwana (APP)
  • Braincase and endocranial anatomy of two thalattosuchian crocodylomorphs and their relevance in understanding their adaptations to the marine environment (PeerJ)
  • Reptile trace fossils found in Middle Triassic Guanling Formation of northeast Yunnan area (Geological Bulletin of China)
  • History and evolution of Stegosaurus in China (Geological Bulletin of China)
  • An exceptionally preserved association of complete dinosaur skeletons reveals the oldest long-necked sauropodomorphs (Biology Letters)
  • Discovery of Omeisaurus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) in the Middle Jurassic Shaximiao Formation of Yunyang, Chongqing, China (Vertebrata PalAsiatica)
  • New discovery of Cretaceous dinosaur track fauna in Xichang basin, Sichuan Province (Geological Bulletin of China)
  • Patterns of microchromosome organization remain highly conserved throughout avian evolution (Chromosoma)
  • Bracketing phenogenotypic limits of mammalian hybridization (RSOS)
  • Advances in Quaternary Studies: The Contribution of the Mammalian Fossil Record (Quaternary)
  • Unique morphogenetic signatures define mammalian neck muscles and associated connective tissues (eLife)
  • Variability in the oxygen isotope compositions of modern rodent tooth carbonate: Implications for palaeoclimate reconstructions (P3)
  • A new capybara from the late Miocene of San Juan Province, Argentina, and its phylogenetic implications (APP)
  • First occurrence of the enigmatic peccaries Mylohyus elmorei and Prosthennops serus from the Appalachians: latest Hemphillian to Early Blancan of Gray Fossil Site, Tennessee (PeerJ)
  • Bone histology provides insights into the life history mechanisms underlying dwarfing in hipparionins (Scientific Reports)
  • Tooth Loss Precedes the Origin of Baleen in Whales (Current Biology)
  • Palaeohistology and life history evolution in cave bears, Ursus spelaeus sensu lato (PLOS ONE)
  • Hominin cranial fragments from Milner Hall, Sterkfontein, South Africa (South African Journal of Science)
  • The SKX 1084 hominin patella from Swartkrans Member 2, South Africa: An integrated analysis of its outer morphology and inner structure (Comptes Rendus Palevol)
  • The impact of environmental change on Palaeolithic and Mesolithic plant use and the transition to agriculture at Franchthi Cave, Greece (PLOS ONE)
  • Deciphering Neolithic activities from a Cardial burial site (Cova Bonica) on the western Mediterranean coast (Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports)
  • Adaptation, speciation and extinction in the Anthropocene (ProcB)

PrePrints and PostPrints:

  • Ignoring stratigraphic age uncertainty leads to erroneous estimates of species divergence times under the fossilized birth-death process (bioRXiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


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

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Decorah gastropods (and some things that look like gastropods) (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • Early fish development sheds light on limb evolution (Time Scavengers)
  • Episode 48 – Sharks (Common Descent)
  • Sawback Turtle Gets a New Look (Laelaps)
  • Helveticosaurus: the small-headed, long-armed Triassic marine reptile that just wants to be your friend 😦 (Mark Witton)
  • This huge plant eater thrived in the age of dinosaurs — but wasn’t one of them (Science News)
  • Nasutoceratops: Prehistoric Beast of the Week (PBW)
  • Introducing Macrocollum itaquii (Letters from Gondwana)
  • Your Friends The Titanosaurs, part 6: Austroposeidon, titanosaurs of Balochistan, and Baotianmansaurus (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • Lydekker’s (1893) illustration of Xenoposeidon (SVPOW)
  • How Dinosaurs Chewed without Cheeks (Laelaps)
  • Dazzle Like a Diamond in the Rough: The Evolution of Iridescent Plumage (Raptormaniacs)
  • Embryological study of the skull reveals dinosaur-bird connection (Link)
  • Fossil Friday – Squalodon whitmorei (Valley of the Mastodon)
  • Twilight of the Almost-Primates (Synapsida)

Methods and Musings:

Featured Folks, Fieldwork, and Museums:

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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