Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Article commentary

New records of the archaic dolphin Agorophius (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the upper Oligocene Chandler Bridge Formation of South Carolina, USA

Editor rating: 8 / 10

J. Thewissen –– Modern toothed whales (odontocetes) are interesting because they are able to shed the design constraints that most mammals, including Eocene whales, have (for instance, in the number of teeth and the number of phalanges). Early odontocetes, such as the one described here, are on that path: they are exploring the limits of the mammalian bauplan. We don't know much about the morphology of these groups, so every fossil described helps us understand that evolutionary exploration better.
A close relative of the Amazon river dolphin in marine deposits: a new Iniidae from the late Miocene of Angola

Editor rating: 6 / 10

Tomas Hrbek –– A fine contribution of our understanding of the evolution of Inioid dolphins and how and when South American freshwater habitats were colonized.
Evolution of pollination by frugivorous birds in Neotropical Myrtaceae

Editor rating: 6 / 10

Jose Maria Cardoso da Silva –– An important contribution to understanding the evolution of pollination in tropical plants.
What affects power to estimate speciation rate shifts?

Editor rating: 6 / 10

William Amos –– there is increasing interest in measuring 'evolution', so the ability to use phylogenies to estimate speciation rates is of considerable utility. However, the methods are non-trivial and this paper does a good job of assessing which methods work best and under what circumstances.
Triassic pentadactyl tracks from the Los Menucos Group (Río Negro province, Patagonia Argentina): possible constraints on the autopodial posture of Gondwanan trackmakers

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– The authors describe new finds of a widespread trace fossil and manage to use it to constrain the anatomy of its producer. It will therefore be relevant for ichnologist, (paleo)biologists and (paleo)ecologists.
‘Rolling’ stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera) from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

Editor rating: 6 / 10

Joseph Gillespie –– New info on old stoneflies!!!
Fossil eggshell cuticle elucidates dinosaur nesting ecology

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Graciela Piñeiro –– This is an important contribution to the dinosaur reproductive behavior, and offers a pormenorized study of the evidence to suggest the presence of a cuticle-like layer in oviraptorid and alvarezsaurid dinosaur eggs.
New insights into chasmosaurine (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae) skulls from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) of Alberta, and an update on the distribution of accessory frill fenestrae in Chasmosaurinae

Editor rating: 6 / 10

Hans-Dieter Sues –– Description of previously poorly studied material of Late Cretaceous ceratopsids and assessment of cranial variability in this clade.
Osteohistology of Late Triassic prozostrodontian cynodonts from Brazil

Editor rating: 6 / 10

Erik Seiffert –– This paper presents novel osteohistological data from fossil species that are critically important for our understanding of the evolution of mammalian physiology and anatomy.
A Miocene pygmy right whale fossil from Australia

Editor rating: 6 / 10

Mark Young –– While this is a fragmentary fossil specimen, it is important as the fossil record of pygmy right whales is poorly known (and thus their evolutionary history is poorly known).

Discussing these articles

Some new stem odontocete info from @CoastalPaleo & Jonathan Geisler. Nice work guys! https://t.co/Xxh9vscGK7

A close relative of the Amazon river dolphin in marine deposits: a new Iniidae from the late Miocene of Angola https://t.co/vX6eykXZa3 @thePeerJ https://t.co/CYuwXOxiFZ

53 days ago
Fruit-bird pollination in Myrtaceae https://t.co/qGkgfXoGKf

Estimation of speciation rate shifts by @GopalMurali1 and Ullasa K. https://t.co/29REhdvTDg via @thePeerJ

Triassic pentadactyl tracks from the Los Menucos Group (Río Negro province, Patagonia Argentina): possible constraints on the autopodial posture of Gondwanan trackmakers https://t.co/bpXvm59s3z

‘Rolling’ stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera) from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber https://t.co/Sa7WtH2rMr

Evidence of eggshell cuticle preservation in dinosaur eggs! Very cool. #FossilFriday https://t.co/xZ2DFj57DR

Apologies for all the Elseviery-ness recently, so here's a cool new dinosaur paper from @DavidEvans_ROM and co on ceratopsian skulls from Alberta! https://t.co/t03dbNTzCg HT @thePeerJ

Osteohistology of Late Triassic prozostrodontian cynodonts from Brazil https://t.co/PYIPB1qlxF

A Miocene pygmy right whale fossil from Australia https://t.co/I1JIzKcDDZ Congrats to @Blogozoic @DrTeethAl and co!