Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Article commentary

Gorgonopsian therapsids (Nochnitsa gen. nov. and Viatkogorgon) from the Permian Kotelnich locality of Russia

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Mark Young –– Gorgonopsians are an unstudied clade, which this paper helps to begin to rectify.
Cranial anatomy of Bellusaurus sui (Dinosauria: Eusauropoda) from the Middle-Late Jurassic Shishugou Formation of northwest China and a review of sauropod cranial ontogeny

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Andrew Farke –– Detailed description of an important taxon for sauropod workers.
Assessing canalisation of intraspecific variation on a macroevolutionary scale: the case of crinoid arms through the Phanerozoic

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Philip Cox –– This is a thorough study on an extensive dataset that will provide a model for other such macroevolutionary investigations.
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!

Discussing these articles

An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ https://t.co/XqXg3pxY3o #Paleontology #Taxonomy #Zoology #FossilFriday

ベルサウルスの頭蓋解剖学と竜脚類頭蓋、個体発生のレビュー 論文フリー https://t.co/aG5R5OzGiE https://t.co/6bjGiokyZo

Glad to see this published: Assessing canalisation of intraspecific variation on a macroevolutionary scale: the case of #crinoid arms through the #Phanerozoic https://t.co/IxjdFj99K3 via @thePeerJ #paleobiology #paleontology https://t.co/K9i8e99KEI

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