Fossil Friday Roundup: August 9, 2019

Featured Image: Ngwevu intloko: a new early sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa. From Chapelle et al. (2019).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Synchronizing volcanic, sedimentary, and ice core records of Earth’s last magnetic polarity reversal (Science Advances)
  • Pliocene warmth consistent with greenhouse gas forcing (Geophysical Research Letters)
  • Early animal evolution: a morphologist’s view (RSOS)
  • Three-dimensionally preserved soft tissues and calcareous hexactins in a Silurian sponge: implications for early sponge evolution (RSOS)
  • Lower Jurassic corals from Morocco with skeletal structures convergent with those of Paleozoic rugosan corals (PalaeoE)
  • The appendicular morphology of Sinoburius lunaris and the evolution of the artiopodan clade Xandarellida (Euarthropoda, early Cambrian) from South China (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Beetle borings in wood with host response in early Permian conifers from Germany (PalZ)
  • Late Ordovician trilobites from the Taimyr Peninsula, Arctic Russia (Journal of Systematic Paleontology)
  • Histological evaluation of five suture materials in the telson ligament of the American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) (PeerJ)
  • New species of Kromtitis Müller, 1984 (Decapoda: Brachyura: Dynomenidae) from the Eocene of Iberian Peninsula (PalaeoE)
  • A network of bivalve chronologies from semi-enclosed seas (PLOS ONE)
  • Anatomy and evolution of the first Coleoidea in the Carboniferous (Comm Biology)
  • Past aquatic environments in the Levant inferred from stable isotope compositions of carbonate and phosphate in fish teeth (PLOS ONE)
  • Dissorophid diversity at the early Permian cave system near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, USA (PalaeoE)
  • Permian metabolic bone disease revealed by microCT: Paget’s disease-like pathology in vertebrae of an early amniote (PeerJ)
  • Cranial ontogeny of Thamnophis radix (Serpentes: Colubroidea) with a re-evaluation of current paradigms of snake skull evolution (RSOS)
  • Palaeoepidemiology in extinct vertebrate populations: factors influencing skeletal health in Jurassic marine reptiles (RSOS)
  • Cretaceous Antarctic plesiosaurs: stratigraphy, systematics and paleobiogeography (Link)
  • Thyreophoran vertebrae from the Callovian (Middle Jurassic) of the Vaches Noires cliffs (Normandy, France), with remarks on the dinosaur assemblage from the Vaches Noires (Link)
  • Psittacosaurus amitabha, a new species of ceratopsian dinosaur from the Ondai Sayr locality, central Mongolia. (American Museum novitates)
  • Ngwevu intloko: a new early sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa and comments on cranial ontogeny in Massospondylus carinatus (PeerJ)
  • Evidence for a giant parrot from the Early Miocene of New Zealand (Biology Letters)
  • Complementary approaches to tooth wear analysis in Tritylodontidae (Synapsida, Mammaliamorpha) reveal a generalist diet (PLOS ONE)
  • First record of a basal mammaliamorph from the early Late Triassic Ischigualasto Formation of Argentina (PLOS ONE)
  • A Nearly Complete Juvenile Skull of the Marsupial Sparassocynus derivatus from the Pliocene of Argentina, the Affinities of “Sparassocynids”, and the Diversification of Opossums (Marsupialia; Didelphimorphia; Didelphidae) (Journal of Mammalian Evolution)
  • Five new species of Arvicolinae and Myospalacinae from the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene of Nihewan Basin (Link)
  • A new kogiid sperm whale from northern Italy supports psychrospheric conditions in the early Pliocene Mediterranean Sea (APP)
  • Cave bear occupation in Schwabenreith Cave, Austria, during the early last glacial: constraints from 230Th/U‐dated speleothems (Link)
  • Causes and Consequences of Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions as Revealed from Rancho La Brea Mammals (Current Biology)
  • Ancient RNA from Late Pleistocene permafrost and historical canids shows tissue-specific transcriptome survival (PLOS ONE)
  • Mammal Biochronology (Land Mammal Ages) Around the World From Late Miocene to Middle Pleistocene and Major Events in Horse Evolutionary History (Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution)
  • Science–graphic art partnerships to increase research impact (Comm Biology)
  • Scientific Twitter: The flow of paleontological communication across a topic network (PLOS ONE)

PrePrints and PostPrints:

  • A ‘Giant Microfossil’ from the Gunflint Chert and its Implications for Eukaryote Origins (PaleorXiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources: 


  • Cretaceous & Beyond: Paleo of Western Interior (Dickinson Museum), Dickinson, North Dakota, September 14–17 (Link)
  • Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Society (Paläontologische Gesellschaft), September 15–18, 2019, Munich (Link)

Society Announcements:

  • Geoscience Congressional Visits Day (Geo-CVD): Sept. 10-11, 2019 (Paleo Society)
  • The Paleontological Society is now accepting applications for two student members to participate in Geo-CVD 2019! (Paleo Society)
  • IGC Travel Grant and Mentoring Program 2020 (Paleo Society)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy, Fossils and Fossilization:

Featured Folks, Fieldwork, Museums, and Meetings:

  • The Great Female Scientists Of The Victorian Era (Letters From Gondwana)
  • Zoology Museum: Take 3 (What’s in John’s Freezer)
  • Paleontological Society/AGI Summer Intern Report, Part 2: Sophie Hanson (Paleo Society)
  • Field Museum’s Emily Graslie gets a national TV series: ‘Prehistoric Road Trip’ on PBS, produced in Chicago (Link)

Methods and Musings:

  • Why Does the U.S. Army Own So Many Fossils? (Atlas Obscura)
  • Applying to Grad School I: Paying for Your Graduate Degree (Time Scavengers)
  • The Future Geologist And The Anthropocene (Extinct)
  • Why we shouldn’t take peer review as the ‘gold standard’ (GTV)
  • True Grit: the PhD experience as a way of moving forward (PLOS ECR)
  • There are more and more options for non-exploitative publishers (SVPOW)
  • Vive la révolution! New ‘Science for Progress’ podcast (GTV)
  • This Mesozoic Month: July 2019 (LITC)
  • The Human Cost of Amber (Link)
  • Stardust Memories: Reading Evolution and Extinction in the Stars (Macroevolutionaries)
  • The First Year of Tetrapod Zoology Ver 4 (TetZoo)

Arts, Books, Culture, Fun:

  • Flesh To Stone To Flesh: The Tattoos Of Glendon Mellow (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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