Fossil Friday Roundup: February 1, 2019

Featured Image: .SR X-ray µCT renderings of dismembered foot, DIP-V-15105a. From Xing et al. (2018).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Speleothem Paleoclimatology for the Caribbean, Central America, and North America (Quaternary)
  • First description of subglacial megalineations from the late Paleozoic ice age in southern Africa (PLOS ONE)
  • Redefining the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in Garden Park National Natural Landmark and vicinity, eastern Colorado: Geology of the Intermountain West (Geology of the Intermountain West)
  • Palaeotopography of a Palaeolithic landscape at Bestwood 1, South Africa, from ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry (South African Journal of Science)
  • Bisnorgammacerane traces predatory pressure and the persistent rise of algal ecosystems after Snowball Earth (Nature Communications)
  • Paleozoic diversification of terrestrial chitin-degrading bacterial lineages (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Effects of long-term fertilization on soil organic carbon mineralization and microbial community structure (PLOS ONE)
  • A new polyphysacean alga from the Miocene of Romania and its biomineralization (APP)
  • Diatom ecological response to deposition of the 833-850 CE White River Ash (east lobe) ashfall in a small subarctic Canadian lake (PeerJ)
  • Simultaneous detection of macroevolutionary patterns in phenotypic means and rate of change with and within phylogenetic trees including extinct species (PLOS ONE)
  • Bozorgnites nom. nov. and Crassispirellina nom. nov.: New names for the preoccupied foraminiferal genera Bozorgniella and Crassispirella (PalaeoE)
  • Upper Spathian to Bithynian (Lower to Middle Triassic) brachiopods from North Dobrogea (Romania) (RIPS)
  • Late Barremian-Early Aptian Ammonites from the Tirgan Formation, Kopet-Dagh Sedimentary Basin, NE Iran (Journal of Sciences, Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • A new genus of hawker dragonfly (Odonata: Anisoptera: Aeshnidae) from the Early Eocene Fur Formation of Denmark (Zootaxa)
  • New material of the ‘microsaur’ Llistrofus from the cave deposits of Richards Spur, Oklahoma and the paleoecology of the Hapsidopareiidae (PeerJ)
  • How many ways to make a snake? Evidence for historical contingency of the convergence of squamate reptiles (Evolution)
  • Tyrannosaurid-like osteophagy by a Triassic archosaur (Scientific Reports)
  • History and geology of the Cope’s Nipple Quarries in Garden Park, Colorado—type locality of giant sauropods in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation (Geology of the Intermountain West)
  • The rise of feathered dinosaurs: Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, the oldest dinosaur with ‘feather-like’ structures (PeerJ)
  • New theropod (Tetanurae: Avetheropoda) material from the ‘mid’-Cretaceous Griman Greek Formation at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia (RSOS)
  • The molecular evolution of feathers with direct evidence from fossils (PNAS)
  • A fully feathered enantiornithine foot and wing fragment preserved in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Scientific Reports)
  • Morphological diversification of biomechanical traits: mustelid locomotor specializations and the macroevolution of long bone cross-sectional morphology (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Data partitioning and correction for ascertainment bias reduce the uncertainty of placental mammal divergence times inferred from the morphological clock (Ecology and Evolution)
  • Climate change not to blame for late Quaternary megafauna extinctions in Australia (Nature Communications)
  • The Pleistocene fauna of the Cape south coast revealed through ichnology at two localities (South African Journal of Science)
  • Tree rings as a proxy for seasonal precipitation variability and Early Neolithic settlement dynamics in Bavaria, Germany (PLOS ONE)
  • Limits of long-term selection against Neandertal introgression (PNAS)
  • The functional importance of human foot muscles for bipedal locomotion (PNAS)
  • Compound-specific radiocarbon dating and mitochondrial DNA analysis of the Pleistocene hominin from Salkhit Mongolia (Nature Communications)
  • Opinion: To curate the molecular past, museums need a carefully considered set of best practices (PNAS)
  • Simultaneous detection of macroevolutionary patterns in phenotypic means and rate of change with and within phylogenetic trees including extinct species (PLOS ONE)


  • Earliest-known intentionally deformed human cranial fossil from Asia and the initiation of hereditary hierarchy in the early Holocene (bioRXiv)
  • Open Science in Dinosaur Paleontology (paleorXiv)
  • Bayesian Tip-dated Phylogenetics: Topological Effects, Stratigraphic Fit and the Early Evolution of Mammals (bioRXiv)
  • The Kinzers Formation (Pennsylvania, USA): the most diverse assemblage of Cambrian Stage 4 radiodonts (paleorXiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • PaleoFest, March 2–3, 2019, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rockford, Illinois (Link)
  • 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:

  • Looks can deceive: crocodiles have evolved more than we think (Link)
  • Plesiosaurs on the rocks: the terrestrial capabilities of four-flippered marine reptiles (Mark Witton)
  • Mesozoic marine reptiles from Spitsbergen and their ecosystems (Geology Today)
  • Iguana-sized dinosaur cousin discovered in Antarctica (Link)
  • Ancient Croc Cousin Gets a New Look (Laelaps)
  • Could Evolution Ever Bring Back the Dinosaurs? (Link)
  • Long-necked dinosaurs rotated their forefeet to the side (Link)
  • Episode 53 – The Baculum (Penis Bone) (Common Descent)
  • Fossil Friday – ceratopsian vertebra (Valley of the Mastodon)
  • Fossil Bird Soared above Utah’s Dinosaurs (Laelaps)
  • Small British Mammals: House Mice (Synapsida)
  • From mouse to mammoth, foot posture may explain why some mammals got so massive (Link)
  • Dating of hominin discoveries at Denisova (Link)

Methods and Musings:

  • Dinosaurs, fossils and the experts who study them have all waited for an end to the shutdown (Link)
  • New Pages: Geologic Time Scale and Classification Diagrams (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • The hyperthermals of the geological record (Letters From Gondwana)
  • This Mesozoic Month (LITC)

Featured Folks, Fieldwork, and Museums:

Arts, Books, Culture, Fun:

  • Book review – Sloths! A Celebration of the World’s Most Maligned Mammal (The Inquisitive Biologist)
  • Vintage Dinosaur Art: T. R. & Friends (LITC)
  • Books about dinosaurs – what am I waiting for in 2019 (Alioramus altai)

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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