Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Article commentary

New insights into Mesozoic cycad evolution: an exploration of anatomically preserved Cycadaceae seeds from the Jurassic Oxford Clay biota

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Richard Bateman –– Some moderately interesting fossil seeds have received mixed-technology, interdisciplinary attention from a range of authors who together are the bees knees of fossil seed-plant studies. They have brought a wealth of expertise to the paper, which during revision has gained greater accuracy and relevance.
Histological characterization of denticulate palatal plates in an Early Permian dissorophoid

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Claudia Marsicano –– The accurate description, comparissons and discussion, make this work and important addition to the acknowledge of the form, funtion, and homology of palatal denticular plates that have been described in several groups of temnospondyls but also other groups of basal tetrapods. Thus, making this particular contribution interesting for a broader scientific community interested in early tetrapod evolution.
Diversity of compounds in femoral secretions of Galápagos iguanas (genera: Amblyrhynchus and Conolophus), and their potential role in sexual communication in lek-mating marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

John Measey –– Very few studies exist and this is a well designed study that should be well cited.
Quid est Clea helena? Evidence for a previously unrecognized radiation of assassin snails (Gastropoda: Buccinoidea: Nassariidae)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Jean-Lou Justine –– The paper provides new information about accurate identification of a series of invasive carnivorous snails. It is thus of interest to both mollusk taxonomists and researchers involved in the protection of environment.
Targeted NGS for species level phylogenomics: “made to measure” or “one size fits all”?

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Keith Crandall –– This paper effectively demonstrates the utility of designing clade specific markers from hybrid-enrichment compared to more global approaches and provides custom scripts to analyze transcriptome and whole genome data to identify such markers.
A laid-back trip through the Hennigian Forests

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Zemin Ning –– The paper has some new ideas and people who are working in the same area should be interested.
Demographic inference through approximate-Bayesian-computation skyline plots

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Tomas Hrbek –– Lays out and implements an ABC framework for testing demographic changes.
EPAS1 variants in high altitude Tibetan wolves were selectively introgressed into highland dogs

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Luis Eguiarte –– This is an important contribution, not only because it illuminates on the complex relations between dogs and wolves, and on how adaptations can move between related species, but also because it is relevant for understanding the domestication process of animals, but also in plants.
The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns)—a phylogenetic network analysis, revised taxonomy, and evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes

Editor rating: 7 / 10

William DiMichele –– An ancient fern lineage of interest to those studying both ferns, their phylogeny, and the methods used to study it. The paper links the fossil record to the record of extant forms, using a broad array of anatomical characteristics.
Razanandrongobe sakalavae, a gigantic mesoeucrocodylian from the Middle Jurassic of Madagascar, is the oldest known notosuchian

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Mark Young –– This manuscript re-describes an important, yet largely enigmatic specimen known from the Middle Jurassic. If correct, this paper shows that Razanandrongobe is in fact a notosuchian. This pushes the known fossil record for this group back by tens of millions of years, helping to close a long ghost lineage.

Discussing these articles

New paper by curator Dr. Ellen Strong talks about new radiation of assasin snails!

New insights into Mesozoic cycad evolution: an exploration of preserved Cycadaceae seeds from the Oxford Clay

Demographic inference through approximate-Bayesian-computation skyline plots published as: @thePeerJ #biorxiv

Histological characterization of denticulate palatal plates in an Early Permian dissorophoid via @thePeerJ

Challenging phylogeny? You need "made to measure" hyb-seq markers. Paper & Kadlec's new tools out at @thePeerJ

The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns) - evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes

561 days ago
An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ #EvolutionaryStudies #Paleontology #croc

SciNews: "Ancient Primitive Amphibians Had Mouthful of Teeth, New Research Finds"

Tech Times: "Ancient Amphibians Had Fangs And Thousands Of Tiny Teeth"

The Canada Journal: "Ancient amphibians had mouthful of teeth, finds new research"

The Star: "Prehistoric frogs were predators with fangs, U of T researchers find"

Paleo Profile: The Large Ancestor Lizard

Meet the giant crocodile that terrorised Jurassic-era Madagascar

The top Jurassic predator was a giant crocodile called Razanandrongobe sakalavae

Gigantic crocodile with T. rex teeth was a top land predator of the Jurassic in Madagascar

An Enormous Crocodile with T. rex Teeth Was a Top Jurassic Predator

This Jurassic Predator Had the Body of a Crocodile and the Teeth of a T. Rex