Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Editors' Picks

How many ontogenetic points are needed to accurately describe the ontogeny of a cephalopod conch? A case study of the modern nautilid Nautilus pompilius
Christopher Glasby
Filamentous cyanobacteria preserved in masses of fungal hyphae from the Triassic of Antarctica
Craig Moyer –– This manuscript documents the first Mesozoic cyanobacterial fossils preserved in fungal hyphal masses within a leaf-rich permineralized (silicified) peat and represents a novel finding from the Triassic of Antarctica.
Cranial anatomy of Allosaurus jimmadseni, a new species from the lower part of the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic) of Western North America
Hans-Dieter Sues –– First modern anatomical description of an important taxon of Jurassic predatory dinosaurs.
Brittle stars looking like starfish: the first fossil record of the Astrophiuridae and a remarkable case of convergent evolution
Mark Young –– This is an important paper as brittle stars have a poor fossil record, and as the reviewers noted are often misinterpreted. It nicely shows an example of convergent evolution.
Scythes, sickles and other blades: defining the diversity of pectoral fin morphotypes in Pachycormiformes
Kenneth De Baets –– The paper discusses difference in fin morphology and other traits related to lifestyle in this enigmatic group of fishes. Their approach ranges from similar ratios to landmark analysis and also discussed the important aspects relevant for people working on other groups.
Beetle larvae with unusually large terminal ends and a fossil that beats them all (Scraptiidae, Coleoptera)
Joseph Gillespie –– Very important contribution to fossil beetle larvae
Using GIS to examine biogeographic and macroevolutionary patterns in some late Paleozoic cephalopods from the North American Midcontinent Sea
Graciela Piñeiro –– This is an interesting paper that intends to document how much the changing climatic conditions (such as those related to the Late Carboniferous glaciations) have affected the geographic distribution and the extinction/speciation patterns of some cephalopods throughout the Pennsylvanian and Early Permian North American Midcontinent Sea by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The study shows ambiguous results probably influenced for the small sample size, particularly when applying statistical testing, demonstrating the relevance of the sample size in the achievement of reliable conclusions.
A prevalence of Arthropterygius (Ichthyosauria: Ophthalmosauridae) in the Late Jurassic—earliest Cretaceous of the Boreal Realm
Mark Young –– This paper provides a thorough description and review of Russian ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs. The hypotheses, descriptions and identifications within give a different interpretation of Upper Jurassc ichthyosaur evolution.
The Early Pliocene extinction of the mega-toothed shark Otodus megalodon: a view from the eastern North Pacific
Kenneth De Baets –– As the data have relevance to constrain the age of extinction of this now extinct giant shark - it would be relevant to ecologists, evolutionary biologist to further constrain the causes of its demise.
Efficient generation of human primordial germ cell-like cells from pluripotent stem cells in a methylcellulose-based 3D system at large scale
Shao-Chen Sun –– A system which produces more primordial germ cell-like cells.
Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Section discussions

Mountain goat survival and mortality during a period of increased puma abundance in the Black Hills, South Dakota @thePeerJ

Proliferating activity in a bryozoan lophophore @thePeerJ

Our new paper on ball moss for biomonitoring CO (and CO2) pollution in the Valley of Mexico, just got published in @thePeerJ! "Isotopic biomonitoring of anthropic carbon emissions in a megalopolis"

Describen tres nuevas especies de tuco-tuco para la Patagonia. Una de ellas está exclusivamente en Península Valdés vía @thePeerJ

An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ #Ecology #EcosystemScience #MarineBiology #ClimateChangeBiology #SpatialandGeographicInformationScience

Otra importante contribución al conocimiento de la ictiofauna neotropical publicado hoy en @thePeerJ: Evolución tectónica de la Cordillera de los Andes y su efecto en la diversificación del género Pseudopimelodus: @ #Biogeography #FreshwaterBiology

Caodeyao, a new peculiar therocephalian via @thePeerJ

KSL News Radio: "Radioactive dinosaur skull from Utah helped researchers make new discovery"

Salt Lake Tribune: "A ‘new’ dinosaur — the top predator of its time — goes on display at the Utah Museum of Natural History"

New Dinosaur Alert! Just Look at This Marvelous Meat-Eating Allosaurus

Carnivorous Dinosaur Discovered in the US Was a True Jurassic Nightmare

Fearsome meat-eating dinosaur the size of a bus with serrated teeth and razor sharp claws is officially recognised as a new species 30 years after discovery

Great white sharks likely pushed the massive megalodon to extinction

Megalodon shocker: Huge killer shark may have been wiped out by great whites

Did Great White Sharks Wipe Out the Giant Megalodon?