Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Article commentary

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.
Penetrance of symbiont-mediated parthenogenesis is driven by reproductive rate in a parasitoid wasp

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Joseph Gillespie –– It adds an important dimension to understanding the role of reproductive rate on the ability of Wolbachia to induce parthenogenesis
Eocene Loranthaceae pollen pushes back divergence ages for major splits in the family

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– The authors document the fossil pollen record of parasitic plants across various continents and use it together with molecular sequences to constrain their evolutionary time-scale . This will be relevant for palynologists, (paleo)botanist and evolutionary biologists in general.
The nematode homologue of Mediator complex subunit 28, F28F8.5, is a critical regulator of C. elegans development

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Heather Etchevers –– One of the reviewers in particular was very enthusiastic about the impact of this work on moving the field forward and generating new hypotheses.
Largest baleen whale mass mortality during strong El Niño event is likely related to harmful toxic algal bloom

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Mark Costello –– Provides evidence of a cause of cetacean mortality in relation to toxic phytoplankton ("harmful alga blooms") which are a concern in many parts of the world. Cetacean deaths are often a source of mystery and this indicates that naturally occurring toxic events can be one possible cause.
The presumed oldest flying insect: more likely a myriapod?

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– The re-investigation of Rhyniognatha is critical as it was originally interpreted one of the oldest in-group insects and has been used to calibrate evolutionary time-scale for insects using molecular clocks in various studies. The divergence estimates of insects might shift to younger ages, which would be more consistent with the fossil record. This is therefore of interest to entomologists, paleontologists, evolutionary biologists, etc.
A novel genus and cryptic species harboured within the monotypic freshwater crayfish genus Tenuibranchiurus Riek, 1951 (Decapoda: Parastacidae)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Keith Crandall –– This paper demonstrates that there is significant hidden diversity still to be discovered and described in this interesting group of Australian freshwater crayfish.
Anhanguera taxonomy revisited: is our understanding of Santana Group pterosaur diversity biased by poor biological and stratigraphic control?

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Graciela Piñeiro –– This article identy characters in the pterosaur taxonomy that can be ontogenetically variable or sexually constrained, making it important to be taken into account for future research on pterosaur taxonomy and ontogeny.

Discussing these articles

@UCRentomology Anyone can read more here if interested :) https://t.co/IBZxx3DuKM

The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns) - evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes https://t.co/Z5rDpEmn9z

474 days ago
An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ https://t.co/HPEwRQ14jV #EvolutionaryStudies #Paleontology #croc

Fossil pollen push back diversification of parasitic Loranthaceae @thePeerJ https://t.co/tYG9MNz3nw #EvolutionaryStudies #Paleobiology

New paper: #Whale #cetacean mass mortality during #elnino linked to #toxicalgae #harmfulalgalbloom #psp #chile https://t.co/j0rJh8bu3L

Presumed oldest flying #insect more likely a #myriapod? @thePeerJ https://t.co/ga0DDyjrjV #Entomology #Paleontology #Paleobiology #Devonian https://t.co/slGrM1wEXl

Novel genus/species in Tenuibranchiurus https://t.co/kxfV616r6p via @thePeerJ

535 days ago
Our new paper on anhanguerid #pterosaurs at @thePeerJ https://t.co/7WoxJP73Ax

Hakai Magazine: "Death by Killer Algae"
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/death-killer-algae/

Paleo Profile: The Large Ancestor Lizard
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/laelaps/paleo-profile-the-large-ancestor-lizard/

Meet the giant crocodile that terrorised Jurassic-era Madagascar
https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/meet-the-giant-crocodile-that-terrorised-jurassic-era-madagascar

The top Jurassic predator was a giant crocodile called Razanandrongobe sakalavae
http://www.wptv.com/news/science-tech/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
https://phys.org/news/2017-07-gigantic-crocodile-rex-teeth-predator.html

An Enormous Crocodile with T. rex Teeth Was a Top Jurassic Predator
https://www.seeker.com/earth/animals/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
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/padb8m/this-jurassic-predator-had-the-body-of-a-crocodile-and-the-teeth-of-a-t-rex?utm_source=mbtwitter

Jurassic-era crocodiles had T. rex teeth
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/04/world/giant-crocodile-razana-study/index.html

Giant croc had teeth like a T. rex
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40492978

A gigantic crocodile with T rex teeth – meet the Ranzana
https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/science/gigantic-crocodile-t-rex-teeth-meet-ranzana/