Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Article commentary

Curvature reduces bending strains in the quokka femur

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Philip Cox –– Because, although the focus of the article is one particular bone in one species of mammal, the results have implications for understanding the biomechanics of bones much more widely.
A multidisciplinary approach to digital mapping of dinosaurian tracksites in the Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian–Barremian) Broome Sandstone of the Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Jérémy Anquetin –– Nothing really new, but an important methodological contribution all the same
Asymmetry of mandibular dentition is associated with dietary specialization in snail-eating snakes

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Lesley Rogers –– This paper on snakes relates dentition asymmetry to asymmetry of the prey eaten.
High richness of insect herbivory from the early Miocene Hindon Maar crater, Otago, New Zealand

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– Present new data on insect herbivore - plant interaction in southern latitudes and their potential relationship with changes in environmental parameters (e.g., climate).
Off the scale: a new species of fish-scale gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Geckolepis) with exceptionally large scales

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Tomas Hrbek –– A very thorough study on a highly unusual group of geckos.
Vascular plant biodiversity of the lower Coppermine River valley and vicinity (Nunavut, Canada): an annotated checklist of an Arctic flora

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Richard Cowling –– The paper represents a comprehensive inventory in a remote area vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It will form the basis for a monitoring programme that will likely reveal important trends in biotic change.
A new glimpse on Mesozoic zooplankton—150 million-year-old lobster larvae

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– Despite the high importance and diversity of modern zooplankton, still comparatively little is known about plankton in the distant of the geological past. The authors report some of the oldest known fossil "clawed lobster" larvae. Mostly their presence is mostly inferred based on the phylogeny and fossil record of adult stages.
In situ morphometric survey elucidates the evolutionary systematics of the Eurasian Himantoglossum clade (Orchidaceae: Orchidinae)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

David Roberts –– Brings together and adds more knowledge of this clade, including new data thus representing a monograph
Three new karst-dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata; Gekkoniade) from Peninsular Thailand and the phylogenetic placement of C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Keith Crandall –– As biodiversity is continuously threatened and negatively impacted, studies like this that not only describe the basic taxonomic units of biodiversity, but place that information in a rich, phylogenetic, ecological, morphological, and geographic setting are essential.
Detailed anatomy of the braincase of Macelognathus vagans Marsh, 1884 (Archosauria, Crocodylomorpha) using high resolution tomography and new insights on basal crocodylomorph phylogeny

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Mark Young –– This paper adds important information on a long known, but enigmatic, basal crocodylomorph. The description is in-depth and and highly detailed.

Discussing these articles

Botrychium minganense (Mingan moonwort - botryche de Mingan) [L] and Botrychium tunux (Tunux moonwort - botryche de Tunux) [R]. Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park, Kugluktuk, Nunavut. July 19, 2014. #PlantPerDay. Originally collected as one number (

Great! First citation of Geckolepis megalepis! in Regeneration:

@yamamotoyama555 ですね。 更に詳しい中生代のプランクトン論文 ① ② ③ 中生代で繁栄した三大植物プランクトンの渦鞭毛藻・円石藻・珪質鞭毛藻が登場しますね。

3D digital mapping dinosaur tracksites via @thePeerJ

Mashable: Drones are revolutionising dinosaur research by mapping massive footprints

The Independent: "Drones add 'dinosaur hunting' to their expanding list of jobs"

Smithsonian Magazine: "New Species of Fish-Scaled Gecko Can (Literally) Jump Out of Its Skin"

New York Times: "Newly Discovered Gecko Escapes Danger Naked and Alive"

LA Times: "Fish-scale gecko in Madagascar evades predators by getting naked"

A new fish-scale gecko from Madagascar

National Geographic: "New Gecko Sheds Skin on Demand, Looks Like Raw Chicken"

The Telegraph: "Gecko strips completely naked to flee from attackers"

Gizmodo: "This Freaky Gecko Detaches Its Giant Scales to Escape Predators"

PBS Newshour: "This gecko rips off its own skin to escape predators"