Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

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.
Differential gene expression during early development in recently evolved and sympatric Arctic charr morphs

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Marc Robinson-Rechavi –– This study allows to link natural variation in morphology with genetic divergence in expression patterns, thus helping link ecology to molecular genomics.
Evaluating the adaptive evolutionary convergence of carnivorous plant taxa through functional genomics

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Todd Vision –– This is a novel and innovative approach to studying the genomic correlates of convergent evolution. It is likely to inspire similar studies in other systems and for other kinds of genomic changes, as well as bioinformatic work to refine and extend the methods.
The oldest Archaeopteryx (Theropoda: Avialiae): a new specimen from the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian boundary of Schamhaupten, Bavaria

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Mark Young –– This manuscript is an excellent, thorough description of a new specimen of the iconic early bird Archaeopteryx.
Molecular phylogenetics of swimming crabs (Portunoidea Rafinesque, 1815) supports a revised family-level classification and suggests a single derived origin of symbiotic taxa

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Mohammad Shamsur Rahman –– very much fantastic work in the field of taxonomy, both in classical and molecular approach!

Discussing these articles

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

Differential gene expression during early development in recently evolved and sympatric Arctic charr morphs Good job @vonStadarhraun https://t.co/SKVXoWQ3Ix via @thePeerJ

198 days ago
Evaluating the adaptive evolutionary convergence of carnivorous plant taxa through functional genomics https://t.co/z1sFqYaSeP

203 days ago
#FossilFriday An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ https://t.co/qQZkEPvLMf #EvolutionaryStudies #Paleontology #Zoology

205 days ago
Portunoid crab molecular phylogenetics https://t.co/27iDHwJL4z @thePeerJさんから

Newsweek: "150-Million-Year-Old Feathered Dinosaur Fossil Proves Prehistoric Birds Lived Longer Than Previously Believed"
http://www.newsweek.com/150-million-year-old-feathered-dinosaur-fossil-proves-prehistoric-birds-lived-791424

The Guardian: "The new specimen forcing a radical rethink of Archaeopteryx "
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/21/the-new-specimen-forcing-a-radical-rethink-of-archaeopteryx