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New papers and paleo-news stories
From: Ben Creisler
A number of new papers I have not listed yet. The pterosaur paper was
already mentioned with a pdf request.
Christopher S. Bennett (2013)
The morphology and taxonomy of the pterosaur Cycnorhamphus.
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen 267(1):. 23-41
The holotype specimens of Cycnorhamphus suevicus (Quenstedt, 1855),
one of the rarest pterosaur species known from the Upper Jurassic
Solnhofen and Nusplingen limestones of southern Germany, and C.
canjuersensis (Fabre, 1974), known from a single specimen from roughly
contemporary deposits of the Petit Plan de Canjuers, France, are
redescribed and their skulls reinterpreted in light on new shape
information from a complete isolated skull nicknamed the “Painten
Pelican“. The skulls are quite similar in shape, the holes in the C.
canjuersensis mandible that had been interpreted as alveoli are merely
artifacts, and differences between the two holotypes are the result of
differences in ontogenetic age and quality of preservation. Based on
reinterpretation of the two holotypes, C. canjuersensis does not
exhibit any features that distinguish it from C. suevicus and so must
be considered a junior synonym.
A commentary reviewing the conflicting placement of the Iguania among
Jonathan B. Losos, David M. Hillis & Harry W. Greene (2012)
Who Speaks with a Forked Tongue?
Science 338 (6113):. 1428-1429
At the dawn of molecular phylogenetics, much was made of the conflict
between results from morphological and molecular data sets. Although
molecular data have rarely changed our understanding of the major
multicellular groups of the evolutionary tree of life, they have
suggested changes in the relationships within many groups, such as the
evolutionary position of whales in the clade of even-toed ungulates
(1). Further investigation has usually resolved conflicts, often by
revealing inadequacies in previous morphological studies. This has led
to a presumption by many in favor of molecular data, but a recent
morphological analysis by Gauthier et al. (2) argues persuasively that
we should reconsider whether DNA is always inherently superior for
inferring life's history.
Takayuki Suzuki (2012)
How is digit identity determined during limb development?
Development, Growth & Differentiation (advance online publication)
Digit identity has been studied using the chick embryo as a model
system for more than 40 years. Using this model system, several
milestone findings have been reported, such as the apical ectodermal
ridge (AER), the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA), the Shh gene, and
the theory of morphogen and positional information. These experimental
results and models provided context for understanding pattern
formation in developmental biology. The focus of this review is on the
determination of digit identity during limb development. First, the
history of studies on digit identity determination is described,
followed by descriptions of the molecular mechanisms and current
models for determination of digit identity. Finally, future questions
and remarkable points will be discussed.
Robert A. Coram & Jonathan D. Radley (2012)
A chirothere footprint from the Otter Sandstone Formation (Middle
Triassic, late Anisian) of Devon, UK.
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association (advance online publication)
The Middle Triassic (Anisian) Otter Sandstone Formation of Devon is
well known as a source of vertebrate skeletal remains, particularly of
reptiles. Here we report the first definite vertebrate trace fossil, a
well-preserved chirothere footprint of uncertain taxonomic identity.
Chirothere prints are mostly attributed to rauisuchian archosaurs,
probable fragmentary remains of which have previously been recovered
from the Otter Sandstone Formation.
Deccan Traps could have killed dinosaurs
Hypsibema dubbed "Dina MO" as "Missouri dinosaur"
Vertebrate paleontologist Philippe Taquet elected as president of the
French Academy of Sciences (in French):