WU Xiao-Chun, LI Chun & WANG Yan-Yin (2017)
Taxonomic reassessment and phylogenetic test of Asiatosuchus nanlingensis Young, 1964 and Eoalligator chunyii Young, 1964.
Vertebrata PalAsiatica (advance online publication)
The present paper revalidated Asiatosuchus nanlingensis Young, 1964 and Eoalligator chunyii Young, 1964 in taxonomy based on a detailed comparative study on those relevant specimens. New information derived from this study revealed that A. nanlingensis and E. chunyii were truly distinguishable from each other and therefore, diagnosis was further revised for each of them. A. nanlingensis is large, with a moderately long or a very elongate snout, and characterised mainly by the combination of the following characters such as: the quadrate with a lateral condyle much larger than the medial one, the surangular pinched off before reaching the end of the retroarticular process, the dental margins (at least the posterior portion) of the jaws nearly straight, and the presence of a fossa/sulcus on the lateral surface of the surangular lateral to the mandibular fossa. E. chunyii is a median-sized, short-snouted animal and characterised mainly by the combination of the following characters such as: the condyles of the quadrate similar in size, the dental margins of the jaws strongly concavo-convex, the dentary symphyses very short, the splenial not entering the mandibular symphysis, and the presence of a fossa/sulcus on the lateral surface of the surangular lateral to the mandibular fossa. With new information derived from this study, the phylogenetic relationships of A. nanlingensis and E. chunyii were tested, which did not support the view that the two species formed a monophyletic clade and opposed that E. chunyii could be considered as the synonym of A. nanlingensis.
Ismael Galván, Jorge García-Campa, and Juan J. Negro (2017)
Complex Plumage Patterns Can Be Produced Only with the Contribution of Melanins.
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 90(5): 600–604
Birds exhibit an extraordinary diversity of plumage pigmentation patterns. It has been overlooked, however, that complex patterns can be produced only with the contribution of melanins because these are the only pigments under direct cellular control. We tested this hypothesis for the first time examining the plumage patterning of all species of extant birds. Thirty-two percent of species show complex plumage patterns, the vast majority (98%) including the contribution of colors produced by melanins. Only 53 species show complex patterns that do not contain melanin-based colors, and these species display unusual colorations and belong to three families where innovative metabolic modifications of conventional carotenoid pigments have been described. While the adaptive functions of complex plumage patterns remain poorly understood and in most cases are ascribed to fulfill camouflage, our findings indicate that such functions will be understood only by considering the synthesis pathway of melanins.
Anieli G. Pereira, Juliana Sterli, Filipe R.R. Moreira & Carlos G. Schrago (2017)
Multilocus phylogeny and statistical biogeography clarify the evolutionary history of major lineages of turtles.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 113: 59-66
Igor G. Danilo, Ekaterina M. Obraztsova, Wen Chen & Jin Jianhua (2017)
The cranial morphology of Anosteira maomingensis (Testudines, Pan-Carettochelys) and the evolution of pan-carettochelyid turtles.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology Article: e1342093
This paper describes the cranial morphology of Anosteira maomingensis, a turtle of the clade Pan-Carettochelys, based on a skull that is part of a more complete specimen from the middle-upper Eocene Youganwo Formation of Maoming, Guangdong Province, China. The cranial data of An. maomingensis were included in a phylogenetic analysis of pan-carettochelyids, one that was complemented with new codings and characters and also including cranial and non-shell postcranial characters of Kizylkumemys schultzi (Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan). It also included characters of vertebral scutes of pan-carettochelyids based on a newly proposed nomenclature of vertebral scutes for this group. The result of our phylogenetic analyses supports a recently proposed hypothesis of probable paraphyly of Anosteirinae, Kizylkumemys, Anosteira, and Allaeochelys. In addition, our study summarizes data on cranial morphology of pan-carettochelyid turtles and discusses some aspects of their evolution.
Adán Pérez-García & Sandra D. Chapman (2017)
Identification of Podocnemididae (Pleurodira) in the British record by the first specimen of the coastal Eocenochelus recognized outside Continental Europe.
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association (advance online publication)
A turtle shell from the lower Eocene of the Bracklesham Bay (Sussex, England), preserving the partial carapace and the almost complete plastron, is studied here. It is recognized as a member of Pleurodira, being attributed to the coastal podocnemidid Eocenochelus. This systematic identification confirms the presence of Podocnemididae in the British record, corresponding to the first evidence of the presence of this genus of the Erymnochelys group (Erymnochelyinae) outside continental Europe. The finding shows that this lineage of African origin not only reached southern France during the early Eocene, but its dispersion towards higher latitudes also occurred at that time, across epicontinental areas.