Editor rating: 7 / 10Kenneth De Baets –– The authors convincingly demonstrate that mongolepids - taxa known from scales, can be determined as sharks and they are components of a major radiation of jawed fish that took place in the Silurian. This further demonstrates a major gap in the fossil record of presumed early chondrichthyan lineages with breaks of ~40 Mya and point to diversification event(s) concealed by an incomplete fossil record (possibly a consequence of insufficient sampling, restricted palaeoenvironmental distribution and/or the low-preservation potential of the chondrichthyan endoskeleton).
Editor rating: 7 / 10Dezene Huber –– Shows an interesting range expansion of a morphology within a species. Not clear on the reason (authors suggest sexual conflict). But an interesting phenomenon that takes some careful observation to notice, and worth further study.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Herbert Maschner –– Trackways are one of the more important areas of paleontological research and this paper develops a suite of techniques to quantify the analysis of ancient trackways.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Kenneth De Baets –– This is a nice cross-discipline effort between paleontologist and biologists to calibrate the evolutionary history of scarab beetles. It describes new fossils and using various methods to test their phylogenetic position based on the characters they possess. It should be useful for people working on scarab beetles as well as people working on similar effort for other groups.
Editor rating: 8 / 10James Reimer –– Integrative taxonomy combining morphology and molecular data, and 20 new species from Brazil in one fell swoop - nice work.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Tim Collins –– This manuscript presents a new phylogenetic hypothesis for the stalked jellyfishes, which differs significantly from the traditional taxonomy of the group. It therefore implies a novel view of the evolutionary history of the group.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Hans-Dieter Sues –– Major reassessment of previously poorly document but phylogenetically important group of archosauromorph reptiles.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Kenneth De Baets –– The authors present an interesting new approach to assess the skeletal function and mode of life of extinct echinoderms by using the relationship between stereom structure and the presence of ligament and/or muscles. This is not only relevant for researchers working on the particular group of echinoderms they investigated, but also for all other people working on other echinoderms and other extinct organisms.
Editor rating: 7 / 10James Reimer –– The oak genus Quercus is well studied, yet has always presented questions with regard to its confusing and confounding evolutionary history based on analyses of different phylogenetic data sets. The current study uses wide-scale sampling and analyses to show how polyphyletic plastome origins and potential unidirectional introgression may have shaped the evolutionary history of this commercially important group.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Leon Higley –– Diversity in genital structures is a longstanding biological conundrum, and this papers helps resolve some of the mystery.
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