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Fossil Friday Roundup: May 11, 2018

Featured Image: View of Grotta La Fabbrica, from Villa et al. (2018).

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Binary-state speciation and extinction method is conditionally robust to realistic violations of its assumptions (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Did the transition to plate tectonics cause Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth? (Terra Nova)
  • An early Cambrian greenhouse climate (Science Advances)
  • Middle Jurassic flora from the Hojedk Formation of Tabas, central East Iran: Biostratigraphy and paleoclimate implications (RIPS)
  • When a tree falls: Controls on wood decay predict standing dead tree fall and new risks in changing forests (PLOS ONE)
  • Middle Triassic (Anisian, Bithynian) gastropods from North Dobrogea (Romania) and their significance for gastropod recovery from the end‐Permian mass extinction event (Papers in Paleontology)
  • Structural design of the minute clypeasteroid echinoid Echinocyamus pusillus (RSOS)
  • Extinct Squamates in the Pleistocene of Northwestern Argentina (Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia)
  • Large palaeophiid and nigerophiid snakes from Paleogene Trans-Saharan Seaway deposits of Mali (APP)
  • A new large-bodied thalattosuchian crocodyliform from the Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) of Hungary, with further evidence of the mosaic acquisition of marine adaptations in Metriorhynchoidea (PeerJ)
  • The assembly of the avian body plan: a 160-million-year long process (Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana)
  • A new Megatheriinae skull (Xenarthra, Tardigrada) from the Pliocene of Northern Venezuela – implications for a giant sloth dispersal to Central and North America (PalaeoE)
  • A critical revision of the fossil record, stratigraphy and diversity of the Neogene seal genus Monotherium (Carnivora, Phocidae) (RSOS)
  • Evolutionary adaptation to aquatic lifestyle in extinct sloths can lead to systemic alteration of bone structure (ProcB)
  • From Neandertals to modern humans: New data on the Uluzzian (PLOS ONE)

Pre-Prints and Post-Prints:

  • Improved estimation of macroevolutionary rates from fossil data using a Bayesian framework (BioRXiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:


  • 11th Annual SeAVP Conference, May 23–27, 2018, North Carolina (Link)
  • Trekking Across the GOBE: From the Cambrian through the Katian, IGCP 653 Annual Meeting, June 3-7, 2018, Athens, Ohio, USA (Link)
  • European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Annual Meeting, Caprica, June 26–July 1, 2018 (Link)
  • 5th International Palaeontological Congress (IPC5), July 9–13, 2018, France (Link)
  • 78th Annual Meeting, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), October 17–20, 2018, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Link)
  • 2018 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, November 4–7, 2018, Indianapolis, Indiana (Link)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)


News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

Methods and Musings:

  • Where in the World is DrNeurosaurus? (Dr. Neurosaurus)
  • Episode 34 – Ancient DNA (Common Descent)
  • The Best Advice I Ever Heard (PLOS ECR)
  • Being a Postgraduate Palaeontologist in 2018 (Palaeocast)
  • You probably don’t appreciate dinosaurs nearly enough (Link)

Museums, Folks and Fieldwork:

Do you have some news, a blog, or something just plain cool you want to share with the PLOS Paleo Community? Email it to us at, tweet it to us at @PLOSPaleo, or message us on Facebook.

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