Fossil Friday Roundup: March 8, 2019

Featured Image:  BMR P2002.4.1 maxilla. From Peterson and Daus (2019).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Geological significance of new zircon U–Pb geochronology and geochemistry: Niuxinshan intrusive complex, northern North China Craton (PLOS ONE)
  • Palaeoenvironment and palaeoclimate in the western Liguria region (northwestern Italy) during the Last Glacial. The small mammal sequence of Riparo Mochi (Balzi Rossi, Ventimiglia) (Comptes Rendus Palevol)
  • Dropstones in Lacustrine Sediments as a Record of Snow Avalanches—A Validation of the Proxy by Combining Satellite Imagery and Varve Chronology at Kenai Lake (South-Central Alaska) (Quaternary)
  • Phylogenomics and Morphological Reconstruction of Arcellinida Testate Amoebae Highlight Diversity of Microbial Eukaryotes in the Neoproterozoic (Current Biology)
  • Advanced approach to analyzing calcareous protists for present and past pelagic ecology: Comprehensive analysis of 3D-morphology, stable isotopes, and genes of planktic foraminifers (PLOS ONE)
  • Intraspecific variation through ontogeny in late Cretaceous ammonites. (American Museum novitates)
  • First associated tooth set of a high-cusped Ptychodus (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii) from the Upper Cretaceous of northeastern Italy, and resurrection of Ptychodus altior Agassiz, 1835 (Cretaceous Research)
  • A reworked elasmobranch fauna from Tunisia providing a snapshot of Eocene-Oligocene Tethyan faunas (Journal of African Earth Sciences)
  • The transition between Carcharocles chubutensis and Carcharocles megalodon (Otodontidae, Chondrichthyes): lateral cusplet loss through time (JVP)
  • Taxonomy and phylogeny of Eosemionotus Stolley, 1920 (Neopterygii: Ginglymodi) from the Middle Triassic of Europe (PalaeoE)
  • High-density three-dimensional morphometric analyses support conserved static (intraspecific) modularity in caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) crania (Biological Journal of the Linnean Society)
  • Anatomical study of the skull of amphisbaenian Diplometopon zarudnyi (Squamata, Amphisbaenia) (Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences)
  • A new species of Mauremys (Testudines, Geoemydidae) from the late Miocene – Pliocene of Central Macedonia (northern Greece) with exceptionally wide vertebral scutes (Papers in Paleontology)
  • Identification of the Lower Cretaceous pleurodiran turtle Taquetochelys decorata as the only African araripemydid species Taquetochelys decorata, tortue pleurodire du Crétacé Inférieur: seule espèce d’Araripemydidé d’Afrique (Copmtes Rendus Palevol)
  • Inner skull cavities of the basal eusuchian Lohuecosuchus megadontos (Upper Cretaceous, Spain) and neurosensorial implications (Cretaceous Research)
  • Detection of Lower Cretaceous fossil impressions of a marine tetrapod on Monte Conero (Central Italy) (Cretaceous Research)
  • Effects of body plan evolution on the hydrodynamic drag and energy requirements of swimming in ichthyosaurs (ProcB)
  • A global perspective on Mesozoic marine amniotes (Alcheringa)
  • Comment on Brocklehurst et al. (RSOS)
  • Ontogenetic stages of ceratopsian dinosaur Psittacosaurus in bone histology (APP)
  • Maiasaura (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae) Tibia Osteohistology Reveals Non-Annual Cortical Vascular Rings in Young of the Year (Frontiers in Earth Science)
  • Different trackway patterns in titanosaur sauropods: Analysis of new Titanopodus tracks from the Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza, Neuquén Basin, Argentina (Cretaceous Research)
  • A new dicraeosaurid sauropod from the Lower Cretaceous (Mulichinco Formation, Valanginian, Neuquén Basin) of Argentina (Cretaceous Research)
  • Aquatic adaptation in the skull of carnivorous dinosaurs (Theropoda: Spinosauridae) and the evolution of aquatic habits in spinosaurids (Cretaceous Research)
  • Feeding traces attributable to juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex offer insight into ontogenetic dietary trends (PeerJ)
  • Ecological niche modelling does not support climatically-driven dinosaur diversity decline before the Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction (Nature Communications)
  • Systemic distribution of medullary bone in the avian skeleton: ground truthing criteria for the identification of reproductive tissues in extinct Avemetatarsalia (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Postcranial morphology of the Early Triassic epicynodont Galesaurus planiceps (Owen) from the Karoo Basin, South Africa (Papers in Paleontology)
  • Convergent evolution of bird-mammal shared characteristics for adapting to nocturnality (ProcB)
  • Rapid morphological evolution in placental mammals post-dates the origin of the crown group (ProcB)
  • New species of Karydomys (Rodentia) from the Miocene of Chios Island (Greece) and phylogenetic relationships of this rare democricetodontine genus (Papers in Paleontology)
  • L’apport du registre paléogène d’Amazonie sur la diversification initiale des Caviomorpha (Hystricognathi, Rodentia) : implications phylogénétiques, macroévolutives et paléobiogéographiques (Geodiversitas)
  • A year in the life of a giant ground sloth during the Last Glacial Maximum in Belize (Science Advances)
  • Systematic and phylogeny of Prodolichotis prisca (Caviidae, Dolichotinae) from the Northwest of Argentina (late Miocene–early Pliocene): Advances in the knowledge of the evolutionary history of maras (Comptes Rendus Palevol)
  • Taxonomy and systematic of fossil hog-nosed skunks, genus Conepatus (Carnivora: Mephitidae) from Argentina (Journal of South American Earth Sciences)
  • Elbow Joint Geometry in Bears (Ursidae, Carnivora): a Tool to Infer Paleobiology and Functional Adaptations of Quaternary Fossils (Journal of Mammalian Evolution)
  • Description of a new toothed mysticete from the Late Oligocene of San Juan de La Costa, B.C.S., México (Journal of South American Earth Sciences)
  • Wrist morphology reveals substantial locomotor diversity among early catarrhines: an analysis of capitates from the early Miocene of Tinderet (Kenya) (SciRep)
  • Mammoth ivory was the most suitable osseous raw material for the production of Late Pleistocene big game projectile points (Scientific Reports)
  • Modern botanical analogue of endangered Yak (Bos mutus) dung from India: Plausible linkage with extant and extinct megaherbivores (PLOS ONE)
  • Late Quaternary fossil mammals from the Cayman Islands, West Indies. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History)
  • Systematic and locomotor diversification of the Adapis group (Primates, Adapiformes) in the late Eocene of the Quercy (Southwest France), revealed by humeral remains (Journal of Human Evolution)
  • A Novel Automated Mass Digitisation Workflow for Natural History Microscope Slides (Biodiversity Data Journal)
  • Opinion: Why science needs philosophy (PNAS)


  • A review of the fossil record of non-baenid turtles of the clade Paracryptodira (PaleorXiv)
  • Beltanelliformis brunsae Menner in Keller et al., 1974: an undoubted Ediacaran fossil from Neoproterozoic of Dobrogea (Romania). (Arxiv)
  • Reconstructing the ecology of a Jurassic pseudoplanktonic megaraft colony (bioRXiv)

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)


  • New PeerJ Awards for visualizing biological data, palaeontology, coral reefs, and zebrafish studies (PeerJ)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

Methods and Musings:

Featured Folks, Fieldwork, and Museums:

  • Franz Nopcsa: the dashing baron who discovered dwarf dinosaurs (NHM)
  • Science World’s Dr. Scott Sampson (Nuvo Magazine)
  • Baring the Bones of the Lost Country: The Last Paleontologist in Venezuela (Longreads)
  • Bethany Allen, Computational Paleobiologist and Education Outreach Fellow (Time Scavengers)
  • The mounting of the cast of Diplodocus carnegii at the Museo de La Plata. (Letters from Gondwana)
  • We’re going to the Carnegie Museum! (SVPOW)
  • International Women’s Day: Frances Mussett (Giant Science Lady)

Arts, Books, Culture, Fun:

  • Two navel-gazey announcements: book signing in Pittsburgh this Sunday, and Medlife Crisis video (SVPOW)
  • Book review – Evolutions: Fifteen Myths That Explain Our World (Inquisitive Biologist)
  • The survey of Paleoartists returns! (LITC)

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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