Subjects -> PALEONTOLOGY (Total: 43 journals)
Showing 1 - 21 of 21 Journals sorted alphabetically
Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Ameghiniana     Open Access  
Annales de Paléontologie     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Carnegie Museum     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Boreas: An International Journal of Quaternary Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Comptes Rendus Palevol     Open Access  
European Journal of Protistology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
EvoDevo     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Facies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Fossil Record     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Geobios     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Ichnos: An International Journal for Plant and Animal Traces     Hybrid Journal  
International Journal of Speleology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Paleolimnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Paleontology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Journal of Quaternary Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Marine Micropaleontology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Novitates Paleoentomologicae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Quaternary     Open Access  
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Palaeontographica A     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Palaeontology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Palaeoworld     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Paläontologische Zeitschrift     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Paleobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
PaleoBios     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Paleontological Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Palynology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Papers in Palaeontology     Hybrid Journal  
Quaternaire     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Quaternary Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Quaternary Science Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Revue de Micropaleontologie     Full-text available via subscription  
Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia (Research In Paleontology and Stratigraphy)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Spanish Journal of Palaeontology     Open Access  
Swiss Journal of Palaeontology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Vertebrate Anatomy Morphology Palaeontology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Zitteliana     Open Access  
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Swiss Journal of Palaeontology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.396
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 4  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1664-2376 - ISSN (Online) 1664-2384
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • A historical vertebrate collection from the Middle Miocene of the Peruvian
           Amazon

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      Abstract: The Miocene aquatic and terrestrial fossil record from western Amazonia constitute a clear evidence of the palaeoenvironmental diversity that prevailed in the area, prior to the establishment of the Amazon River drainage. During the Miocene, the region was characterized by a freshwater megawetland basin, influenced by episodic shallow-marine incursions. A fossil vertebrate collection from the middle Miocene strata of the Pebas Formation is here studied and described. This historical collection was recovered in 1912 along the banks of the Itaya River (Iquitos, Peru), during a scientific expedition led by two scientists of the University of Zurich, Hans Bluntschli and Bernhard Peyer. Our findings include a total of 34 taxa, including stingrays, bony fishes, turtles, snakes, crocodylians, and lizards. Fishes are the most abundant group in the assemblage (~ 23 taxa), including the first fossil record of the freshwater serrasalmids Serrasalmus, and Mylossoma, and the hemiodontid Hemiodus for the Pebas system, with the latter representing the first fossil be discovered for the entire Hemiodontidae. The presence of a representative of Colubroidea in the middle Miocene of Iquitos supports the hypothesis of arrival and dispersal of these snakes into South America earlier than previously expected. This fossil assemblage sheds light on the palaeoenvironments, and the geographical/temporal range of several aquatic/terrestrial lineages inhabiting the Amazonian region.
      PubDate: 2021-12-20
       
  • Evolutionary development of the cephalopod arm armature: a review

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      Abstract: The cephalopod arm armature is certainly one of the most important morphological innovations responsible for the evolutionary success of the Cephalopoda. New palaeontological discoveries in the recent past afford to review and reassess origin and homology of suckers, sucker rings, hooks, and cirri. Since a priori character state reconstructions are still ambiguous, we suggest and discuss three different evolutionary scenarios. Each of them is based on the following assumptions: (1) Neocoleoidea uniting extant Decabrachia and Octobrachia is monophyletic (= proostracum-bearing coleoids); (2) extinct Belemnitida and Diplobelida are stem decabrachians; (3) proostracum-less coleoids (Hematitida, Donovaniconida, Aulacoceratida) represent stem-neocoleoids; (4) Ammonoidea and Bactritoidea are stem coleoids. We consider a scenario where belemnoid hooks derived from primitive suckers as well-supported. Regarding belemnoid hooks and suckers as homologues implies that belemnoid, oegopsid, and probably ammonoid arm hooks arose through parallel evolution. Our conclusions challenge the widespread opinion, whereupon belemnoid hooks evolved de novo, and instead support earlier ideas formulated by Sigurd von Boletzky.
      PubDate: 2021-12-20
       
  • The impact of the Pliensbachian–Toarcian crisis on belemnite
           assemblages and size distribution

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      Abstract: The second-order Pliensbachian–Toarcian crisis affected major groups of marine organisms. While its impact has been intensively studied for ammonites, the response of belemnites is only currently emerging through quantitative studies. Novel overall and regional diversity analyses suggest that belemnite richness in the NW-Tethys drops at the Pliensbachian–Toarcian boundary, while overall diversity slightly increases in NW-Tethys assemblages during the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic event (T-OAE), mostly driven by NW European assemblages (e.g., Yorkshire). The T-OAE coincides with marked taxonomic turnover within individual basins, which is associated with an increase in median rostrum size of specimens in taxa at most localities. The changes in median body size across the Pliensbachian–Toarcian boundary are less consistent and driven by changes in body size within individual lineages crossing the boundary. However, our analyses also illustrate differences in sampling across the Pliensbachian–Toarcian crisis, which needs to be considered in further studies.
      PubDate: 2021-12-20
       
  • Novel insights into early life stages of finned octopods (Octopoda:
           Cirrata)

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      Abstract: The finned or dumbo octopods (Octopoda: Cirrata) constitute a cephalopod (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) taxon almost exclusively comprising organisms that inhabit the deep-sea. This renders studying the general biology of adult cirrate specimens a difficult task, but even more so when it comes to gathering knowledge on their early life stages. During his comprehensive research exploits on cephalopod development, the late Sigurd von Boletzky (1942–2020) also sought to shed light on specific adaptations that eggs and embryos of these enigmatic deep-sea octopods might show. Based on his seminal work, the present article sets out to provide additional data on a broad range of early cirrate life stages, including egg capsules without any obvious embryonic stage as well as those containing embryos. These previously unreported specimens obtained from museum collections were analyzed using conventional morphological as well as modern three-dimensional imaging techniques. The present overview includes specimens from four of the five oceans, i.e., the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Southern Ocean. Based on information on cirrate ovum, chorion, and egg capsule size as well as shape gathered from the literature, an attempt is made here for the first time to identify von Boletzky's as well as the specimens introduced here down to at least genus level. The combined data provide novel insights into early life stages of finned octopods, aiming to continue von Boletzky's legacy with regard to developmental research on a still largely enigmatic taxon of extant deep-sea cephalopods.
      PubDate: 2021-12-20
       
  • A redescription of the Late Jurassic (Tithonian) turtle Uluops uluops and
           a new phylogenetic hypothesis of Paracryptodira

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      Abstract: We study the Late Jurassic (Tithonian) turtle Uluops uluops using micro-computed tomography scans to investigate the cranial anatomy of paracryptodires, and provide new insights into the evolution of the internal carotid artery and facial nerve systems, as well as the phylogenetic relationships of this group. We demonstrate the presence of a canalis caroticus lateralis in Uluops uluops, the only pleurosternid for which a palatine artery canal can be confidently identified. Our phylogenetic analysis retrieves Uluops uluops as the earliest branching pleurosternid, Helochelydridae within Pleurosternidae, and Compsemydidae including Kallokibotion bajazidi within Baenidae, which suggests at least two independent losses of the palatine artery within paracryptodires. We expect future studies will provide additional insights into the evolution of the circulation system of paracryptodires, as well as clarifying relationships along the turtle stem.
      PubDate: 2021-10-06
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00234-y
       
  • Observations on mating in Mediterranean Sepiola and Sepietta species and
           review of mating behaviour in Sepiolinae (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae)

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      Abstract: Mating was observed and described in captive individuals of Sepiola affinis, Sepiola intermedia and Sepietta obscura (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae) collected in the Catalan Sea, western Mediterranean Sea. This is the first report of a mating event in S. intermedia; it is also the first detailed description of the mating behaviour for the other two species. The published literature on mating in Sepiolinae, which includes both cursory reports and in-depth descriptions of mating events, was thoroughly reviewed. In all, copulation has been examined in eight species belonging to four different genera, namely, Eumandya, Euprymna, Sepietta and Sepiola, starting from 1894 to the present. Common traits of the mating behaviour were detected among the studied sepioline species, so that a general five stages succession of actions is established to portray the mating progress in Sepiolinae: (A) female hovers by, male attention (it is discussed whether actual copulation is preceded by any courtship); (B) male approaches female from below; (C) male grasps female at the neck by its third arms, inserts its first arms in the female’s mantle cavity (the hectocotylised left arm is thus aligned with the bursa copulatrix), holds the female’s mantle by its second arms and positions itself and mate in the “parallel position”; (D) copulation and transfer of spermatophores from male to female (this stage may last from 3 min to 3 h); (E) mating dissolution. Mating occurs preferentially during the dark hours; it is described as violent and the female tries to escape the forceful grasp by the male; the male skin coloration turns darker. The similarity of the mating behaviour in all examined sepioline species is an evidence of both its evolution in harmony with their copulatory organs (hectocotylus and bursa copulatrix) and, seemingly, its common derivation to the whole Sepiolinae clade.
      PubDate: 2021-10-05
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00232-0
       
  • Analysis of septal spacing and septal crowding in Devonian and
           Carboniferous ammonoids

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      Abstract: Septal crowding is widely known as a sign of maturity in conchs of ammonoids and nautiloids. However, reduced septal spacing may also occur as a consequence of adverse ecological conditions. Here, we address the question how septal spacing varied through ontogeny in representatives of some of the major clades of Devonian and Carboniferous ammonoids. We found that the degree of ontogenetic variation is similar between clades and that variation is only weakly linked with conch form. The results show that septal crowding alone is insufficient to identify adulthood in ammonoids; intermediate septal crowding is a common phenomenon and occurs in various growth stages. Changes in septal distances during ontogeny were, in addition to adulthood of the individuals, a passive reaction likely caused by fluctuating environmental conditions.
      PubDate: 2021-10-04
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00235-x
       
  • An assemblage of giant aquatic snakes (Serpentes, Palaeophiidae) from the
           Eocene of Togo

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      Abstract: We here describe a monospecific assemblage of giant aquatic snakes from the middle Eocene of Kpogamé, Togo. The material, consisting of large isolated vertebrae, is referred to Palaeophis africanus, an enigmatic palaeophiid species, which was so far otherwise known only from a limited number of vertebrae from the middle Eocene of Nigeria and Angola. Material from the late Eocene of the eastern USA that had been referred to the same species, is here instead considered too fragmentary for species-level determination and Palaeophis africanus is thus so far restricted to Africa. With the aid of micro-CT scanning, we present 3D models of 17 vertebrae, pertaining to different portions of the vertebral column. We provide detailed comparisons of the new material with all named African species of the genus Palaeophis. A tentative diagnosis of Palaeophis africanus is provided. With more than 50 vertebrae, the new Togolese specimens represent the most abundant known material attributed to Palaeophis africanus and significantly enhance our knowledge of the vertebral anatomy and intracolumnar variation for this taxon. Furthermore, this adds to the, as yet, extremely scarce fossil record of squamates from central western Africa, a region where Paleogene herpetofaunas are only rather poorly known.
      PubDate: 2021-09-23
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00236-w
       
  • The swimming trace Undichna from the latest Devonian Hangenberg Sandstone
           equivalent of Morocco

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      Abstract: Trace fossils occur in several strata of the Devonian and Carboniferous of the eastern Anti-Atlas, but they are still poorly documented. Here, we describe a fossil swimming trace from strata overlying the Hangenberg Black Shale (correlation largely based on lithostratigraphy; Postclymenia ammonoid genozone, ca. 370 Ma old). We discuss the systematic position of the tracemaker and its body size. This ichnofossil is important for three main reasons: (1) it is considered here to be the first record of Undichna from the Devonian of Gondwana, as far as we know; (2) it is the oldest record of vertebrate trace fossils from Africa; (3) it provides a unique window into the behaviour of Late Devonian fishes for which body-fossils cannot provide direct evidence. Further, we put this discovery into the macroecological context of the palaeoenvironment following the Late Devonian Hangenberg biodiversity crisis.
      PubDate: 2021-09-13
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00237-9
       
  • Taxonomic revision of the snakes of the genera Palaeopython and Paleryx
           (Serpentes, Constrictores) from the Paleogene of Europe

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      Abstract: Large constrictor snakes, referred to the genera Palaeopython and Paleryx, are an ecologically prominent part of the fauna of Europe during the Paleogene. Most species were named over a century ago and their taxonomy is largely based on isolated vertebrae. Furthermore, the majority of named taxa originate from imprecisely known localities within the Phosphorites du Quercy, in southern France, and thus their exact age is not known. We critically review and re-diagnose these genera based on personal examination of all existing type material, an array of new specimens, and a detailed literature review. We consider Palaeopython and Paleryx to be valid and propose vertebral characters to distinguish them. We recognize three valid species of Palaeopython, i.e. Palaeopython cadurcensis (type species) from the Phosphorites du Quercy, Palaeopython ceciliensis from Geiseltal, and Palaeopython helveticus from Dielsdorf (Switzerland), and one valid species of Paleryx, i.e. Paleryx rhombifer (type species) from Hordle Cliff (England). Four other species, which were previously treated as members of Palaeopython and Paleryx, i.e. “Palaeopython” filholii and “Palaeopython” neglectus from the Phosphorites du Quercy, “Palaeopython” fischeri from Messel, and “Paleryx” spinifer from Geiseltal, are also considered as valid but pertain to other genera. Among these four taxa, “Palaeopython” fischeri has been recently assigned to its own genus, Eoconstrictor. A new genus, Phosphoroboa gen. nov. is established to accommodate “Palaeopython” filholii. We designate a lectotype for Palaeopython cadurcensis and establish that the paralectotype maxilla and dentary are reasonably referred to this species. New material attributed to Palaeopython cadurcensis is described from the old collections of the Phosphorites du Quercy. Paleryx cayluxi, another species established from the old collections of the Phosphorites du Quercy, is synonymized here with Palaeopython cadurcensis. We further clarify important errors in the original description and figures of Paleryx cayluxi, identify the exact specimens that comprise the type series, and designate a lectotype. Much new material is described for Palaeopython ceciliensis from its type area in Geiseltal and intracolumnar variation is considered. We describe additional vertebral and cranial material of Paleryx rhombifer from its type area in Hordle Cliff. Based on this cranial material, we suggest non-booid affinities for Paleryx rhombifer. We designate a lectotype for Paleryx depressus and agree with its previous suggested synonymy with Paleryx rhombifer. We re-describe the lectotype and paralectotypes of “Palaeopython” neglectus and refer and describe new material of this species from the Phosphorites du Quercy, paying special attention to intracolumnar variation; we also defer a decision on its generic relations until more abundant and complete material can be studied. We describe new vertebral material of the booid Eoconstrictor cf. fischeri from Geiseltal; similar material was previously known only from Messel and Dielsdorf. We determine that Eoconstrictor fischeri contains two distinct and unrelated species and describe intracolumnar variation in the nominotype. We clarify certain issues regarding the type series of Paleryx spinifer, designate a lectotype, and report previously unrecognized cranial material associated with the latter specimen; we transfer this species to Eoconstrictor based on cranial features and recombine it as Eoconstrictor spinifer comb. nov. We finally describe much new vertebral and cranial material of Phosphoroboa filholii comb. nov. from the Phosphorites du Quercy (both from the old collections but also from the late Eocene localities of Escamps A and C), paying special attention to intracolumnar variation. Based on this cranial material from Escamps, we identify Phosphoroboa gen. nov. as a booid. An analytical approach is undertaken in many isolated remains in order to quantify vertebra...
      PubDate: 2021-08-13
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00224-0
       
  • The geography of body size in cuttlefishes (Cephalopoda, Sepiidae)

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      Abstract: This study explores body size in sepiids (Cephalopoda, Sepiidae) on the interspecific scale and provides an overview of their geographical distribution. Results reveal a highly skewed distribution of body size variation for raw values and a nearly normal distribution for log-transformed data. However, normality is not statistically validated due to the overrepresentation of small and large species. The geographical distribution of sepiids reveals five main clusters: Atlantic, Cape Basin, Indian Ocean, Asia-Pacific, and Australian. On average, clusters display more or less the same mean body size pattern except the Cape Basin cluster, which is statistically different from the others (smaller interspecific mean body size). The reasons remain unclear but a phylogenetic effect is suspected as southwest African coastal waters concentrate species from the ‘Hemisepius’ complex which is made up of small species. Sepiids do not obey Bergmann’s rule: species from high latitudes do not tend to be larger than species from low latitudes.
      PubDate: 2021-07-28
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00231-1
       
  • Fish otoliths from the early Miocene of Chile: a window into the evolution
           of marine bony fishes in the Southeast Pacific

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      Abstract: Few fossil fish otolith associations have been described from the Pacific side of the Americas and, except for a single species (Steindachneria svennielseni), none have been described from Pacific South America south of the Central American tropical region. Here, we describe a rich otolith assemblage obtained from fifteen early Miocene outcrop locations along the Chilean coast from about 33°S to about 45°S. More than 2,000 specimens were studied resulting in the recognition of 67 species, with 27 being new to science. This assemblage represents an important new data point distant from any previously known otolith-based fish fauna, with the nearest coeval associations being from the Caribbean Province in Venezuela, which lies about 5000 km to the north, and New Zealand, which is about 9000 km to the west. The fauna represents a mixture of offshore and shallow water fishes and is rich in myctophids, paralichthyids (Citharichthys), ophidiids (Lepophidium), steindachneriids, and macrourids. Typical tropical American fishes are nearly completely absent, with the exception of Steindachneria and certain anguilliforms. The mesopelagic faunal component, chiefly Myctophidae, shows a striking resemblance to the well-known coeval fish fauna from New Zealand, and both are interpreted as representing an early South Pacific mesopelagic bioprovince. The strong correlation with the mesopelagic otolith-based fish fauna from New Zealand constricts the time interval of the sampled sediments to the middle Burdigalian (approximately 17.5 to 18.5 Ma). All otoliths obtained from the early Miocene of Chile relate to extant fish groups of the area and few exotic components not currently present in the East Pacific. The sole exception is a morpho-type described as Navidadichthys which has an unresolved relationship, possibly with the Prototroctidae, a family that is today endemic to the freshwater and nearshore marine environments of Australia and New Zealand. The new taxa are in the sequence of taxonomic description: Pterothrissus transpacificus n. sp., Pythonichthys panulus n. sp., Chiloconger chilensis n. sp., Gnathophis quinzoi n.sp., Rhynchoconger chiloensis n. sp., Navidadichthys mirus n. gen. et n. sp., Maurolicus brevirostris n. sp., Polyipnus bandeli n. sp., Lampanyctus ipunensis n. sp., Physiculus pichi n. sp., Coelorinchus fidelis n. sp., Coelorinchus rapelanus n. sp., Nezumia epuge n. sp., Paracarapus chilensis n. gen. et n. sp., Lepophidium chonorum n. sp., Lepophidium mapucheorum n. sp., Sirembola supersa n. sp., Spectrunculus sparsus n. sp., Pseudonus humilis n. sp., Capromimus undulatus n. sp., Agonopsis cume n. sp., Cottunculus primaevus n. sp., Kuhlia orientalis n. sp., Citharichthys parvisulcus n. sp., Citharichthys vergens n. sp., Achirus australis n. sp., Achirus chungkuz n. sp.
      PubDate: 2021-07-27
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00228-w
       
  • Preservation of nautilid soft parts inside and outside the conch
           interpreted as central nervous system, eyes, and renal concrements from
           the Lebanese Cenomanian

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      Abstract: Nautilid, coleoid and ammonite cephalopods preserving jaws and soft tissue remains are moderately common in the extremely fossiliferous Konservat-Lagerstätte of the Hadjoula, Haqel and Sahel Aalma region, Lebanon. We assume that hundreds of cephalopod fossils from this region with soft-tissues lie in collections worldwide. Here, we describe two specimens of Syrionautilus libanoticus (Cymatoceratidae, Nautilida, Cephalopoda) from the Cenomanian of Hadjoula. Both specimens preserve soft parts, but only one shows an imprint of the conch. The specimen without conch displays a lot of anatomical detail. We homologise the fossilised structures as remains of the digestive tract, the central nervous system, the eyes, and the mantle. Small phosphatic structures in the middle of the body chamber of the specimen with conch are tentatively interpreted as renal concrements (uroliths). The absence of any trace of arms and the hood of the specimen lacking its conch is tentatively interpreted as an indication that this is another leftover fall (pabulite), where a predator lost parts of its prey. Other interpretations such as incomplete scavenging are also conceivable.
      PubDate: 2021-07-23
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00229-9
       
  • First discovery of nautilids from the Albian–Cenomanian succession of
           the Koppeh Dagh Basin, NE Iran

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      Abstract: The Aitamir Formation, situated in the Koppeh Dagh Basin in the northeast of Iran, is known for its well-exposed Albian-to-Cenomanian succession. Although geologists previously documented a number of macro- and microfossils, no nautilids had been discovered until now to our knowledge. Here, we present lower Albian and middle Cenomanian nautilids from the Koppeh Dagh Basin for the first time. This discovery is also the first record of Cretaceous nautilids from Iran. We identified the specimens as Eutrephoceras clementianum (d’Orbigny 1840), E. sublaevigatum (d’Orbigny 1850), E. bouchardianum (d’Orbigny 1840) and Eutrephoceras sp. These specimens occur in horizons situated between several ammonite-bearing levels, which allowed us to more precisely constrain age estimates for the recovered nautilid specimens. E. clementianum could not be dated precisely but likely comes from between late Aptian ammonite index Hypacanthoplites uhligi and middle Albian Hoplites (Hoplites) baylei. E. sublaevigatum occurs just above the late Albian ammonites Mariella bergeri and Semenoviceras michalskii and below the Mantelliceras mantelli Zone. At the upper part of the section, E. bouchardianum and Eutrephoceras sp. were collected from lower Albian beds, which correspond to the Mantelliceras mantelli and Mantelliceras dixonii zones. These new findings contribute to our knowledge of the geographical distribution and stratigraphic range of Albian–Cenomanian nautilid species.
      PubDate: 2021-07-21
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00230-2
       
  • Crinoid encrustation of holocystitid diploporitan echinoderms: strongly
           asymmetrical Silurian dendritic attachment structures with
           palaeobiological implications

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      Abstract: Articulated thecae of the holocystitid diploporitan echinoderm Holocystites scutellatus from the middle Silurian (Wenlock: Sheinwoodian) Massie Formation of southeastern Indiana, USA, are encrusted by distinctive structures belonging to another echinoderm. A dendritic attachment structure consisting of multiple slender, branching radices, attributable to the camerate crinoid Eucalyptocrinites, is present on one side of each of the diploporitan thecae. However, the development of radices is remarkably asymmetrical, with all radices—including one more than 25 mm in length—being present exclusively on one side of the attachment structure. This reflects initial settlement by the encrusting crinoids near the oral or marginal regions rather than the central portion of the diploporitan thecae, which were on their sides; this essentially prohibited further outward growth of radices toward the oral area or edges, but allowed radices oriented in the opposite direction to extend over nearly the entire length of the lateral surface of the theca. Although crinoid encrustation of holocystitid diploporitan thecae is moderately common in the Massie Formation, no previously described specimens display such pronounced asymmetry with respect to radice development. More importantly, these specimens convincingly illustrate the degree to which Eucalyptocrinites attachment structure morphologies could be modified in response to local substrate variations; such skeletal modules were, indeed, highly dynamic, probably contributing to the success of taxa bearing such adaptable attachment structures.
      PubDate: 2021-07-20
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00233-z
       
  • First record of the enigmatic coleoid genus Longibelus from Sakhalin (Far
           East Russia): a contribution to our understanding of Cretaceous coleoid
           habitats in the Pacific Realm

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      Abstract: A newly collected specimen of the enigmatic coleoid genus Longibelus is recorded from lower Turonian strata along the River Shadrinka in Sakhalin (Russian Far East). To date, this is the first record of Late Cretaceous coleoid cephalopods from the island and, in fact, from the entire Pacific coast of the Russian Federation. Lithological characteristics, coupled with published geochemical analyses (δ13C and Corg content), suggest the habitat of this coleoid taxon to have been the middle to outer (i.e. distal) shelf. Its provenance from the stratigraphical level that is known as the Scaphites Event, characterised by a mass occurrence of Scaphites and Yesoites, may be indicative of occasional or marginal overlap in ranges, rather than life in similar habitats. On the basis of lithological features and in view of the extremely rare occurrence of Longibelus in rich ammonite assemblages with clear ecological/bathymetric preferences, the natural habitat of Longibelus may have comprised neritic to mesopelagic zones over distal shelves and slopes.
      PubDate: 2021-06-09
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00227-x
       
  • Ammonoid soft tissue remains revealed by computed tomography

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      Abstract: Findings of ammonoid soft tissues are extremely rare compared to the rich fossil record of ammonoid conchs ranging from the Late Devonian to the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. Here, we apply the computed-tomography approach to detect ammonoid soft tissue remains in well-preserved fossils from the Early Cretaceous (early Albian) of NE-Germany of Proleymeriella. The ammonites were found in glauconitic–phosphatic sandstone boulders. Analyses of the high-resolution Ct-data revealed the presence of cameral sheets, the siphuncular tube wall, and the siphuncle itself. The siphuncle is a long, segmented soft tissue that begins at the rear end of the body chamber and comprises blood vessels. Chemical analyses using energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) showed that all preserved soft tissues were phosphatized and are now composed of fluorapatite. The same holds true for preserved shell remains that locally show the nacreous microstructure. We provide a short description of these soft tissue remains and briefly discuss the taphonomic pathway.
      PubDate: 2021-06-02
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00226-y
       
  • Fossilized leftover falls as sources of palaeoecological data: a
           ‘pabulite’ comprising a crustacean, a belemnite and a vertebrate from
           the Early Jurassic Posidonia Shale

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      Abstract: Especially in Lagerstätten with exceptionally preserved fossils, we can sometimes recognize fossilized remains of meals of animals. We suggest the term leftover fall for the event and the term pabulite for the fossilized meal when it never entered the digestive tract (difference to regurgitalites). Usually, pabulites are incomplete organismal remains and show traces of the predation. Pabulites have a great potential to inform about predation as well as anatomical detail, which is invisible otherwise. Here, we document a pabulite comprising the belemnite Passaloteuthis laevigata from the Toarcian of the Holzmaden region. Most of its soft parts are missing while the arm crown is one of the best preserved that is known. Its arms embrace an exuvia of a crustacean. We suggest that the belemnite represents the remnant of the food of a predatory fish such as the shark Hybodus.
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00225-z
       
  • A Pliocene–Pleistocene continental biota from Venezuela

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      Abstract: The Pliocene–Pleistocene transition in the Neotropics is poorly understood despite the major climatic changes that occurred at the onset of the Quaternary. The San Gregorio Formation, the younger unit of the Urumaco Sequence, preserves a fauna that documents this critical transition. We report stingrays, freshwater bony fishes, amphibians, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, aquatic and terrestrial turtles, and mammals. A total of 49 taxa are reported from the Vergel Member (late Pliocene) and nine taxa from the Cocuiza Member (Early Pleistocene), with 28 and 18 taxa reported for the first time in the Urumaco sequence and Venezuela, respectively. Our findings include the first fossil record of the freshwater fishes Megaleporinus, Schizodon, Amblydoras, Scorpiodoras, and the pipesnake Anilius scytale, all from Pliocene strata. The late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene ages proposed here for the Vergel and Cocuiza members, respectively, are supported by their stratigraphic position, palynology, nannoplankton, and 86Sr/88Sr dating. Mammals from the Vergel Member are associated with the first major pulse of the Great American Biotic Interchange. In contrast to the dry conditions prevailing today, the San Gregorio Formation documents mixed open grassland/forest areas surrounding permanent freshwater systems, following the isolation of the northern South American basin from western Amazonia. These findings support the hypothesis that range contraction of many taxa to their current distribution in northern South America occurred rapidly during at least the last 1.5 million years.
      PubDate: 2021-04-23
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-020-00216-6
       
  • Multiple Orbitoides d’Orbigny lineages in the Maastrichtian' Data
           from the Central Sakarya Basin (Turkey) and Arabian Platform successions
           (Southeastern Turkey and Oman)

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      Abstract: The standard reconstruction of species of Orbitoides d’Orbigny into a single lineage during the late Santonian to the end of the Maastrichtian is based upon morphometric data from Western Europe. An irreversible increase in the size of the embryonic apparatus, and the formation of a greater number of epi-embryonic chamberlets (EPC) with time, is regarded as the main evolutionary trends used in species discrimination. However, data from Maastrichtian Orbitoides assemblages from Central Turkey and the Arabian Platform margin (Southeastern Turkey and Oman) are not consistent with this record. The Maastrichtian Besni Formation of the Arabian Platform margin in Southeastern Turkey yields invariably biconvex specimens, with small, tri- to quadrilocular embryons and a small number of EPC, comparable to late Campanian Orbitoides medius (d’Archiac). The upper Maastrichtian Taraklı Formation from the Sakarya Basin of Central Turkey contains two distinct, yet closely associated forms of Orbitoides, easily differentiated by both external and internal features. Flat to biconcave specimens possess a small, tri- to quadrilocular embryonic apparatus of Orbitoides medius-type and a small number of EPC, whereas biconvex specimens possess a large, predominantly bilocular embryonic apparatus, and were assigned to Orbitoides ex. interc. gruenbachensis Papp–apiculatus Schlumberger based on morphometry. The flat to biconcave specimens belong to a long overlooked species Orbitoides pamiri Meriç, originally described from the late Maastrichtian of the Tauride Mountains in SW Turkey. This species is herein interpreted to be an offshoot from the main Orbitoides lineage during the Maastrichtian, as are forms that we term Orbitoides ‘medius’, since they recall this species, yet are younger than normal occurrence with the accepted morphometrically defined lineage. The consistent correlation between the external and internal test features in O. pamiri implies that the shape of the test is not an ecophenotypic variation, but appears to be biologically controlled. We, therefore, postulate that more than one lineage of Orbitoides exists during the Maastrichtian, with a lineage that includes O. ‘medius’ and O. pamiri displaying retrograde evolutionary features.
      PubDate: 2021-04-19
      DOI: 10.1186/s13358-021-00219-x
       
 
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