Fossil Friday Roundup: February 8, 2019

Featured Image: A new study challenges the identity of a an isolated feather from the Jurassic Solnhofen limestone. From Kaye et al. (2018).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • First fossil harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) from Spain and notes on the fossil record of Opiliones (PalaeoE)
  • Tamilokus mabinia, a new, anatomically divergent genus and species of wood-boring bivalve from the Philippines (PeerJ)
  • Size, weapons, and armor as predictors of competitive outcomes in fossil and contemporary marine communities (Ecological Monographs)
  • The evolution of the axial skeleton intercentrum system in snakes revealed by new data from the Cretaceous snakes Dinilysia and Najash (Scientific Reports)
  • Ecomorphology and bone microstructure of Proterochampsia from the Chañares Formation (APP)
  • A new long-spined dinosaur from Patagonia sheds light on sauropod defense system (Scientific Reports)
  • Detection of lost calamus challenges identity of isolated Archaeopteryx feather (Scientific Reports)
  • A new baby oviraptorid dinosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia (PLOS ONE)
  • Unique skull network complexity of Tyrannosaurus rex among land vertebrates (Scientific Reports)
  • Useful old casts: a comment on Hansford & Turvey (2018), ‘Unexpected diversity within the extinct elephant birds (Aves: Aepyornithidae) (RSOS)
  • Standing genetic variation as the predominant source for adaptation of a songbird (PNAS)
  • The evolution of the syrinx: An acoustic theory (PLOS ONE)
  • Oldest Finch-Beaked Birds Reveal Parallel Ecological Radiations in the Earliest Evolution of Passerines (Current Biology)
  • Estimating age‐dependent survival from age‐aggregated ringing data—extending the use of historical records (Ecology and Evolution)
  • Convergent gene losses illuminate metabolic and physiological changes in herbivores and carnivores (PNAS)
  • New records and diet reconstruction using dental microwear analysis for Neolicaphrium recens Frenguelli, 1921 (Litopterna, Proterotheriidae) (Andean Geology)
  • Climbing adaptations, locomotory disparity and ecological convergence in ancient stem ‘kangaroos’ (RSOS)
  • Recent dating of extinct Atlantic gray whale fossils, (Eschrichtius robustus), Georgia Bight and Florida, western Atlantic Ocean (PeerJ)
  • Ancient human genome-wide data from a 3000-year interval in the Caucasus corresponds with eco-geographic regions (Nature Comm)
  • kuenm: an R package for detailed development of ecological niche models using Maxent (PeerJ)
  • The R package divDyn for quantifying diversity dynamics using fossil sampling data (Methods in Ecology and Evolution)
  • Inferring species richness using multispecies occupancy modeling: Estimation performance and interpretation (Ecology and Evolution)


  • Cranial anatomy of the predatory actinopterygian Brazilichthys macrognathus from the Permian (Cisuralian) Pedra de Fogo Formation, Parnaíba Basin, Brazil (bioRXiv)
  • Timing the extant avian radiation: The rise of modern birds, and the importance of modeling molecular rate variation (PeerJ)

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)

Funding Opportunities:

  • Jurassic Foundation Grant, Deadline February 15 (Link)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

Methods and Musings:

  • Data, text, and Simulation: Alisa Bokulich’s “Using Models to Correct Data: Paleodiversity and the Fossil Record.” (Extinct)
  • Learning New Methods (Time Scavengers)
  • Artificial Intelligence Can Identify Microscopic Marine Organisms (Link)

Featured Folks, Fieldwork, and Museums:

  • Memories of a Glacier in the Connecticut River Valley (Time Scavengers)
  • Prehistoric Beast at the Academy of Natural Sciences: Part 2 (PBW)

Art, 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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