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.
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.
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.
Cranial morphology of Sinovenator changii (Theropoda: Troodontidae) on the new material from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Hans-Dieter Sues –– Important study on troodontid cranial structure.
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.

Discussing these articles

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

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

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

Dinosaur time! Cranial morphology of Sinovenator changii (Theropoda: Troodontidae) on the new material from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China https://t.co/VLINx5XWhn New in @thePeerJ

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