Fossil Friday Roundup: Friday December 21, 2018

Featured Image: Because it’s too cool not to share again this week. Cretoxyrhina attacking Pteranodon. Image credit: Mark Witton. From Hone et al. (2018). CC-BY.

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Closing the gap between palaeontological and neontological speciation and extinction rate estimates (Nature Communications)
  • Anomaly Detection in Paleoclimate Records Using Permutation Entropy (Entropy)
  • Closure of the Bering Strait caused Mid-Pleistocene Transition cooling (Nature Communications)
  • Setting the Stage: The Late Pleistocene Colonization of North America (Quaternary)
  • Oxygen, temperature and the deep-marine stenothermal cradle of Ediacaran evolution (ProcB)
  • An unexpected noncarpellate epigynous flower from the Jurassic of China (eLife)
  • Paleobotany: Did flowering plants exist in the Jurassic period? (eLife)
  • Bajocian Lissoceratinae (Haploceratoidea, Ammonitida) from the Mediterranean-Caucasian Subrealm (RIPS)
  • Influenced but not determined by historical events: genetic, demographic and morphological differentiation in Heleobia ascotanensis from the Chilean Altiplano (PeerJ)
  • Checklist of the Myriapoda in Cretaceous Burmese amber and a correction of the Myriapoda identified by Zhang (2017) (Check List)
  • A new species of Eumanota Edwards (Diptera, Mycetophilidae, Manotine) from Colombia : evidence for a pseudogondwanan pattern. (American Museum novitates)
  • The hatching mechanism of 130‐million‐year‐old insects: an association of neonates, egg shells and egg bursters in Lebanese amber (The Depositional Record)
  • Globigaetania angulata gen. et. sp. nov. from the Wordian (Middle Permian) of NW Iran (RIPS)
  • Diversity partitioning in Phanerozoic benthic marine communities (PNAS)
  • Vertébrés mésozoïques : poissons (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Fuyuanichthys wangi gen. et sp. nov. from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of China highlights the early diversification of ginglymodian fishes (PeerJ)
  • A basal aïstopod from the earliest Pennsylvanian of Canada, and the antiquity of the first limbless tetrapod lineage (RSOS)
  • Shell variability in the stem turtles Proterochersis spp. (PeerJ)
  • Remains of Leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, at Mid-Late Holocene archaeological sites in coastal Oman: clues of past worlds (PeerJ)
  • Vertébrés mésozoïques : tortues (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Direct and indirect interactions with vegetation shape crocodylian ecology at multiple scales (Freshwater Biology)
  • Vertébrés mésozoïques: crocodiliens (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • A new specimen of Prolacerta broomi from the lower Fremouw Formation (Early Triassic) of Antarctica, its biogeographical implications and a taxonomic revision (Scientific Reports)
  • Niche modeling for the genus Pogona (Squamata: Agamidae) in Australia: predicting past (late Quaternary) and future (2070) areas of suitable habitat (PeerJ)
  • The oldest ceratosaurian (Dinosauria: Theropoda), from the Lower Jurassic of Italy, sheds light on the evolution of the three-fingered hand of birds (PeerJ)
  • Niche Partitioning in Theropod Dinosaurs: Diet and Habitat Preference in Predators from the Uppermost Cedar Mountain Formation (Utah, U.S.A.) (Scientific Reports)
  • Traces de dinosaures jurassiques : Chevenez-Combe Ronde (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Traces de dinosaures jurassiques : Chevenez-Crat (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Traces de dinosaures jurassiques : Courtedoux – Sur Combe Ronde (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Traces de dinosaures jurassiques : contexte et méthode (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Traces de dinosaures jurassiques : Courtedoux-Tchâfouè (Catalogues du patrimoine paléontologique jurassien)
  • Baalsaurus mansillai gen. et sp. nov. a new titanosaurian sauropod (Late Cretaceous) from Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina (An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.)
  • Dinosaur-landscape interactions at a diverse Early Cretaceous tracksite (Lee Ness Sandstone, Ashdown Formation, southern England) (P3)
  • Timed Collinear Activation of Hox Genes during Gastrulation Controls the Avian Forelimb Position (Current Biology)
  • Ornamental feathers in Cretaceous Burmese amber: resolving the enigma of rachis-dominated feather structure (Journal of Palaeogeography)
  • Cretaceous Hitchhikers: a Possible Phoretic Association between a Pseudoscorpion and Bird in Burmese Amber (Acta Geologica Sinica)
  • Inter-stride variability triggers gait transitions in mammals and birds (ProcB)
  • Challenging the European southern refugium hypothesis: Species‐specific structures versus general patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation among small mammals (Global Ecology and Biogeography)
  • Pectoral girdle and forelimb musculoskeletal function in the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus): insights into mammalian locomotor evolution (RSOS)
  • Local persistence of Mann’s soft-haired mouse Abrothrix manni (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) during Quaternary glaciations in southern Chile (PeerJ)
  • The role of Pleistocene climate change in the genetic variability, distribution and demography of Proechimys cuvieri and P. guyannensis (Rodentia: Echimyidae) in northeastern Amazonia (PLOS ONE)
  • Feeding habits and habitat of herbivorous mammals from the Early–Late Hemphillian (Miocene) of Costa Rica (APP)
  • Biostratigraphy and diversity of Paleogene perissodactyls from the Erlian Basin of Inner Mongolia, China (American Museum Novitates)
  • Investigating equid mobility in Miocene Florida, USA using strontium isotope ratios (P3)
  • The first record of Nemkovella daguini (Neumann, 1958) from the middle-upper Eocene of Oman (Arabian Peninsula) and Meghalaya (Indian Subcontinent) and its significance in Tethyan correlations and paleobiogeography (RIPS)
  • Magnetochronology of Late Miocene Mammal Fauna in Xining Basin, NE Tibetan Plateau, China (Acta Geologica Sinica)
  • An early archaic-odobenid calcaneum from the lower Miocene Shukunohora Formation, Mizunami Group in Mizunami City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan (Bull. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci. Ser. C)
  • Obsidian consumption at Qdeir 1, a Final Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Syria: An integrated characterisation study (Comptes Rendus Palevol)
  • The endocast of StW 573 (“Little Foot”) and hominin brain evolution (Journal of Human Evolution)
  • Quaternary Highlights (September–December 2018) (Quaternary)
  • Rocky Start of Dinosaur National Monument (USA), The World’s First Dinosaur Geoconservation Site (Geoconservation Research)

PrePrints and PostPrints:

  • The Case For and Against Double-blind Reviews (bioRXiv)
  • Quantitative analysis of repaired and unrepaired damage to trilobites from the Cambrian (Stage 4 – Drumian) Iberian Chains, NE Spain (PaleorXiv)
  • Hypothesis: Avian flight originated in arboreal archosaurs gliding on membranous wings (PeerJ)
  • Reconstructing an unusual specimen of Haplocanthosaurus using a blend of physical and digital techniques (PeerJ)
  • Elongated thoracic spines as potential predatory deterrents in olenelline trilobites from the lower Cambrian of Nevada (PaleorXiv)
  • What do we mean by the directions “cranial” and “caudal” on a vertebra? (PeerJ)
  • Aragonite bias is expressed spatially in the late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, North America. (PaleorXiv)
  • A juvenile cf. Edmontosaurus annectens (Ornithischia, Hadrosauridae) femur documents a poorly represented growth stage for this taxon (PaleorXiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists, March 15–17, 2019, University of Oregon (Link)
  • 11th Conference on Fossil Resources, Casper, Wyoming, May 30-June 2, 2019 (Link)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Fossil Friday – crocodile skull (Valley of the Mastodon)
  • Pteranodon vs Cretoxyrhina (Archosaur Musings)
  • A ‘Ginsu shark’ lost a tooth in its Cretaceous dinner (Nature)
  • On Pterosaurs and Feathers (Letters from Gondwana)
  • New discovery pushes origin of feathers back by 70 million years (Link)
  • Armoured dinosaurs had an efficient internal cooling system (PLOS Paleo)
  • The ROM’s new rock star: Meet Zuul the dinosaur, destroyer of shins (Link)
  • New species of incredible ‘living tank’ dinosaur unveiled (Link)
  • Your Friends The Titanosaurs, part 7: Barrosasaurus, Baurutitan, and Bonatitan (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • Turkeys lie (SVPOW)
  • Prehistoric Mammal Discoveries of 2018 (Synapsida)

Methods and Musings:

  • Episode 50 – Australia (Common Descent)
  • The Haplocanthosaurus presentation from the 1st Palaeo Virtual Congress is now a PeerJ Preprint (SVPOW)
  • Writing the vertebral-orientation paper in the open (SVPOW)
  • It is unethical to teach evolution without confronting racism and sexism (PLOS SciComm)
  • ‘Stop Acting Like A Grad Student’: review of “The Professor Is In” (PLOS ECR)
  • The vertebral orientation presentation from the 1st Palaeo Virtual Congress is now a PeerJ Preprint (SVPOW)
  • How Much Did Antarctic Ice Melt 8 Million Years Ago? (Time Scavengers)

Featured Folks, Fieldwork, and Museums:

Arts, Books, Culture, Fun:

  • Odds and Ends: Book Reviews, December 2018 (Sympan)
  • Book Review — The Art of Animal Anatomy: All Life is Here, Dissected and Depicted (The Inquisitive Biologist)

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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