Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Editors' Picks

A new phylogenetic hypothesis of Tanystropheidae (Diapsida, Archosauromorpha) and other “protorosaurs”, and its implications for the early evolution of stem archosaurs
Claudia Marsicano –– It is a welcome comprehensive analysis of a quite disparate group at the core of the early evolution of Archosauromorpha.
The cranial morphology of Tanystropheus hydroides (Tanystropheidae, Archosauromorpha) as revealed by synchrotron microtomography
Andrew Farke –– A detailed anatomical description of the skull from a key taxon for understanding Triassic reptiles.
A high-resolution growth series of Tyrannosaurus rex obtained from multiple lines of evidence
Mark Young –– This publication is a major step forward for investigating ontogenetic trends in a fossil animal, and will no doubt be a hallmark paper others will follow. Moreover, it will undoubtedly help those working on Tyrannosaurus rex and tyrannosaurids untangle issues surrounding 'dwarf taxa' vs ontogenetic morphs.
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.
Paleontology and Evolutionary Science

Section discussions


Léonard et al. @UniversiteLiege present #ToRQuEMaDA: tool for retrieving queried Eubacteria, metadata and dereplicating assemblies Read the full @PeerJLife article #Bioinformatics #Genomics #Microbiology #Taxonomy

Presenting the Wapiti Formation’s first lambeosaurine #dinosaur! Led by the intrepid @ERS_UNE/@PalaeoScience MSc student @bray_holland and part of the #BADP field project, we describe the mass death of some juvenile dinosaurs @CurrieMuseum

An article I handled as editor has just been published @thePeerJ Congratulations to @ArthurErb1 and @alanhturner and many thanks to @PalaeoStephan, @BronzatiMario and an anonymous reviewer for their expert assistance! #Crocodile #Paleoneurology

Phylogeny of "Protorosauria" via @thePeerJ

3 days ago
Analysis of Odonata #DNAbarcode library today in @thePeerJ #Entomology #MolecularBiology #Taxonomy #Zoology #FreshwaterBiology

There's a new Late Jurassic rhynchocephalian in town: Sphenofontis velserae, an exquisitely preserved sphenodontine from the Solnhofen Archipelago. Just out on @thePeerJ!

Kim et al. @SNUnow reveal a new coral barnacle exclusively associated with the high latitude coral Alveopora japonica in the waters of southern Korea after DNA-based diversity assessment Read the full @PeerJLife article #Biodiversity #MarineBiology

This amazing fossil, discovered by me and my mom, Lisa Marshall, at the Mother’s Day Quarry in Montana, exhibits several new scale shapes and orientations never before seen in Diplodocus. 2/8

Here's exactly how T. rex grew from a slender tot into a massive carnivore

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