Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Fingerprinting snakes: paleontological and paleoecological implications of zygantral growth rings in Serpentes

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Andrew Farke –– This study presents data applicable for many paleontologists in trying to establish life history information for snakes extant and extinct.
A new lineage of Cretaceous jewel wasps (Chalcidoidea: Diversinitidae)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– Oldest best-preserved representatives of chalcid wasps which is relevant for entomologists, evolutionary biologist and paleontologists. The authors run a phylogenetic analysis to place them among their extant relatives.
Reinvestigating an enigmatic Late Cretaceous monocot: morphology, taxonomy, and biogeography of Viracarpon

Section Editor rating: 8 / 10

Andrew Farke –– Excellent imagery and descriptions of an important taxon.
Including autapomorphies is important for paleontological tip-dating with clocklike data, but not with non-clock data

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Laura Wilson –– Evaluates the impact of autapomorphies on the behaviour of tip-dating methods. The results are relevant for all future studies that employ tip-dating analyses.
Evolutionary persistence in Gunnera and the contribution of southern plant groups to the tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Luis Eguiarte –– Gunnera is a genus of plants that have fascinated scientist for a long time, in particular for the very large leaves of some species and because its symbiotic relationship with the nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria Nostoc. For a many years, some botanists suspected it to be a very old, primitive genus, perhaps basal in the phylogeny of the Angiosperms. While latter molecular phylogenies did not support this position, this paper shows that indeed Gunnera is an old genus, with a complex evolutionary and phylogeographic history, and a recent radiation in the Andes. All these new results are relevant for understanding why the Neotropics have so many plant species, more than any other similar region in the planet.
Out of Asia: mitochondrial evolutionary history of the globally introduced supralittoral isopod Ligia exotica

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Curtis Daehler –– This work provides genetic evidence suggesting the native range of a widely distributed animal that was accidentally spread by humans starting hundreds of years ago.
First endemic freshwater Gammarus from Crete and its evolutionary history—an integrative taxonomy approach

Editor rating: 7 / 10

James Reimer –– A taxonomic paper with an interesting story and a solid dataset!
Repeatability of glucocorticoid hormones in vertebrates: a meta-analysis

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Dany Garant –– Nice overview of published literature on the topic.
A new slider turtle (Testudines: Emydidae: Deirochelyinae: Trachemys) from the late Hemphillian (late Miocene/early Pliocene) of eastern Tennessee and the evolution of the deirochelyines

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Andrew Farke –– Describes a new fossil species from a group of turtles that are ecologically important in North America today.
A simple molecular technique for distinguishing species reveals frequent misidentification of Hawaiian corals in the genus Pocillopora

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Xavier Pochon –– This study developed a simple and cost-effective assay that quickly allows for discrimination amongst coral species in the genus Pocillopora using simple PCR amplification followed by digestion with widely available restriction enzymes. Pocilloporid corals exhibit extreme phenotypic plasticity, making morphological identification of species very challenging. The assay was tested on 691 coral samples collected from across the Hawaiian Archipelago and successfully characterised all six Pocillopora species occurring in Hawaii. Compared to sequence-based identification, this method is simple, rapid and represents a cost saving of nearly 95%. This work will benefit future studies of population structure, ecology, biodiversity, evolution and conservation in this challenging coral genus.

Discussing these articles

Fingerprinting snakes: paleontological and paleoecological implications of zygantral growth rings in Serpentes https://t.co/TVDSmgogPG

A new lineage of Cretaceous jewel wasps (Chalcidoidea: Diversinitidae) https://t.co/gKPLoodyvo via @thePeerJ. Extinct animals get all the coolest names..

Reinvestigating an enigmatic Late Cretaceous monocot: morphology, taxonomy, and biogeography of Viracarpon https://t.co/7fmiNcjumu

Including autapomorphies is important for paleontological tip-dating with clocklike data, but not with non-clock data https://t.co/vL2OmNZKVi

Hot off the press – The contribution of southern plant groups to the tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot! https://t.co/5O6fZBPI8M #Biogeography #Evolution #Neotropics @GGBC_GU @thePeerJ

Congratulations to Kelsey Schoenemann on her article on glucocorticoid repeatability, published today in @thePeerJ https://t.co/882QMAM5RT #AnimalBehavior #Ecology #EvolutionaryStudies

A new slider turtle (Testudines: Emydidae: Deirochelyinae: Trachemys) from the late Hemphillian (late Miocene/early Pliocene) of eastern Tennessee and the evolution of the deirochelyines https://t.co/WjWugeTBkc

New paper to ID Pocillopora corals https://t.co/It92AVvX7X