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Re: Erpetonyx, oldest parareptilian from Carboniferous of Canada (free pdf)

Make that "Erpetonyx" in the subject line. I violated my New Year's
resolution to double-check subject lines for typos. Sorry.

On Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 9:06 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper with free pdf:
> Sean P. Modesto, Diane M. Scott, Mark J. MacDougall, Hans-Dieter Sues,
> David C. Evans, Robert R. Reisz (2015)
> The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles.
> Proceedings of the Royal Society B (advance online publication)
> DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1912
> http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1801/20141912
> http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/282/1801/20141912.full.pdf
> Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus
> independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the
> Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods
> over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently
> attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma.
> However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is
> relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single
> specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of
> reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous
> rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et
> sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae
> and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of
> parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of
> bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that
> parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of
> the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous
> reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest
> Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid
> amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational
> biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods
> or any combination of these factors.
> ****
> News items:
> http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fossil-found-by-p-e-i-boy-fills-gap-in-reptile-evolution-1.2899592
> http://phys.org/news/2015-01-canadian-fossil-discoveries-clues-early.html
> http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/fossil-discoveries-point-to-life-in-canada-long-before-humans/article22441247/