[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Seeing inside fossils + other news and blogs

Ben Creisler

A number of recent items:

Modern techniques for seeing inside fossils

Stephen Ornes (2014)
Inner Workings: Freeing the dinos within.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (48): 16977
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1417048111

Paleontologists have long faced a daunting obstacle to their research:
Fossils are usually embedded in rock. To manually wrench the fossils
out, scientists use an array of tools, from needles to dentist’s
drills to dissolving acids, often with destructive results. Swedish
paleozoologist Erik Jarvik, for example, famously took 25 years to
create a precise, anatomically correct 3D wax model of the
Eusthenopteron fish, but by the end the fossil itself had been


Dental batteries in ceratopsians, hadrosaurs and elephants



Smuggled Alioramus fossils to be returned to Mongolia


original news item from September



Euparkeria reconstruction by Luis V. Rey



Plant fossils from Gondwana show earlier evolution than molecular clocks suggest


The paper in open access:

Peter Wilf and Ignacio H. Escapa (2014)
Green Web or megabiased clock? Plant fossils from Gondwanan Patagonia
speak on evolutionary radiations.
New Phytologist (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1111/nph.13114

free pdf:

Evolutionary developmental biology (evodevo) attempts to explain how
the process of organismal development evolves, utilizing a comparative
approach to investigate changes in developmental pathways and
processes that occur during the evolution of a given lineage.
Evolutionary genetics uses a population approach to understand how
organismal changes in form or function are linked to underlying
genetics, focusing on changes in gene and genotype frequencies within
populations and the fixation of genotypic variation into traits that
define species or evoke speciation events. Microevolutionary
processes, including mutation, genetic drift, natural selection and
gene flow, can provide the foundation for macroevolutionary patterns
observed as morphological evolution and adaptation. The temporal
element linking microevolutionary processes to macroevolutionary
patterns is development: an organism's genotype is converted to
phenotype by ontogenetic processes. Because selection acts upon the
phenotype, the connection between evolutionary genetics and
developmental evolution becomes essential to understanding adaptive
evolution in organismal form and function. Here, we discuss how
developmental genetic studies focused on key developmental processes
could be linked within a comparative framework to study the
developmental genetics of adaptive evolution, providing examples from
research on two key processes of plant evodevo – floral symmetry and
organ fusion – and their role in the adaptation of floral form.