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[dinosaur] Lizard and turtles papers: Pacific islands + European gekkotans + geoemydid turtles (free pdfs)

Ben Creisler

Some recent non-dino reptile articles with free pdfs:

Paul M. Oliver, Rafe M. Brown, Fred Kraus, Eric Rittmeyer, Scott L. Travers & Cameron D. Siler (2018)
Lizards of the lost arcs: mid-Cenozoic diversification, persistence and ecological marginalization in the West Pacific.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20171760
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1760


Regions with complex geological histories often have diverse and highly endemic biotas, yet inferring the ecological and historical processes shaping this relationship remains challenging. Here, in the context of the taxon cycle model of insular community assembly, we investigate patterns of lineage diversity and habitat usage in a newly characterized vertebrate radiation centred upon the world's most geologically complex insular region: island arcs spanning from the Philippines to Fiji. On island arcs taxa are ecologically widespread, and provide evidence to support one key prediction of the taxon cycle, specifically that interior habitats (lowland rainforests, montane habitats) are home to a greater number of older or relictual lineages than are peripheral habitats (coastal and open forests). On continental fringes, however, the clade shows a disjunct distribution away from lowland rainforest, occurring in coastal, open or montane habitats. These results are consistent with a role for biotic interactions in shaping disjunct distributions (a central tenant of the taxon cycle), but we find this pattern most strongly on continental fringes not islands. Our results also suggest that peripheral habitats on islands, and especially island arcs, may be important for persistence and diversification, not just dispersal and colonization. Finally, new phylogenetic evidence for subaerial island archipelagos (with an associated biota) east of present-day Wallace's Line since the Oligocene has important implications for understanding long-term biotic interchange and assembly across Asia and Australia.


Andrea Villa, Juan D. Daza, Aaron M. Bauer & Massimo Delfino (2018)
Comparative cranial osteology of European gekkotans (Reptilia, Squamata).Â
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, zlx104,
doi:Â https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx104
https://academic.oup.com/zoolinnean/advance-article/doi/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx104/4815763?searchresult=1Â Â

Comparative osteology of European lizards, and of European geckos in particular, is poorly known, resulting in problems when trying to determine to species isolated bones found as fossils or as remains of prey in scats or pellets. In order to partly solve this issue, we here present a detailed comparative analysis of the cranial bones of the four most broadly distributed species of European gekkotans: Euleptes europaea, Hemidactylus turcicus, Mediodactylus kotschyi and Tarentola mauritanica. The skulls of these species display both a set of features that are typical for geckos in general and unique features that can be employed to identify isolated bones of all considered species. Diagnostic differences are found in almost every bone (except the squamosal, epipterygoid and stapes), leading to the creation of a detailed diagnostic key. The dentition also displays some interspecific differences, even though all four species share a similar general tooth morphology, with pleurodont teeth provided with two parallel cutting edges separated by a groove-like space. Such a dentition is consistent with an arthropod-based diet.


Rafaella C. Garbin, Eduardo Ascarrunz & Walter G. Joyce (2018)
Polymorphic characters in the reconstruction of the phylogeny of geoemydid turtles.Â
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, zlx106 (advance online publication0
doi:Â https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx106


Several attempts to resolve the phylogeny of turtles in the clade Geoemydidae using morphology have been unsuccessful, in part because of unusually high levels of polymorphism. This has hindered the integration of the geoemydid fossil record into a phylogenetic framework. Many methods, shown to improve phylogenetic inference, allow the incorporation of different amounts of state frequency information from polymorphic characters into a phylogenetic analysis. Here, we present a new character matrix for the shell of geoemydids and assess the performance of polymorphism coding methods (âmajorityâ, âgeneralized frequency codingâ, âpolymorphicâ and âmissingâ) in a phylogenetic analysis by comparing the result topology of each method with a reference molecular phylogeny. The four coding methods failed to recover trees that were both well resolved and highly congruent with the reference phylogeny. Moreover, contrary to previous studies, the coding methods that made more use of character states frequencies did not perform better. However, a leave-one-out subsampling analysis suggested that despite these problems, the new matrix can still be used to place fossils in the geoemydid phylogeny with some reliability. Finally, we provide a list of characters that diagnose the major clades in our molecular reference tree.

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