Articles | Volume 20, issue 1
Review article
19 Dec 2016
Review article |  | 19 Dec 2016

Odyssey in the evolution of a paleopathologist

Bruce M. Rothschild

Related subject area

Taxonomy and biodiversity
Ingensalinae subfam. nov. (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Fulgoroidea: Inoderbidae), a new planthopper subfamily from mid-Cretaceous Kachin amber from Myanmar
Cihang Luo, Zhishun Song, Xiaojing Liu, Tian Jiang, Edmund A. Jarzembowski, and Jacek Szwedo
Foss. Rec., 24, 455–465,,, 2022
Short summary
The first xiphydriid wood wasp in Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Xiphydriidae) and a potential association with Cycadales
Jia Gao, Michael S. Engel, Friðgeir Grímsson, Lei Gu, Dong Ren, and Tai-Ping Gao
Foss. Rec., 24, 445–453,,, 2022
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Albian to Turonian agglutinated foraminiferal assemblages of the Lower Saxony Cretaceous sub-basins – implications for sequence stratigraphy and paleoenvironmental interpretation
Richard M. Besen, Ulrich Struck, and Ekbert Seibertz
Foss. Rec., 24, 395–441,,, 2021
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Past ecosystems drive the evolution of the early diverged Symphyta (Hymenoptera: Xyelidae) since the earliest Eocene
Corentin Jouault, Arvid Aase, and André Nel
Foss. Rec., 24, 379–393,,, 2021
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Ontogenetic development of the European basal aquatic turtle Pleurosternon bullockii (Paracryptodira, Pleurosternidae)
Andrea Guerrero and Adán Pérez-García
Foss. Rec., 24, 357–377,,, 2021
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Cited articles

Alvarez-Millan, C.: Practice versus theory: Tenth-century case histories from the Islamic Middle East, Soc. Hist. Med., 2000, 293–306, 2000.
Aufderheide, A. C. and Rodriguez-Martin, C.: Human Paleopathology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998.
Bouwman, A. and Brown, T. A.: The limits of biomolecular paleopathology: Ancient DNA cannot be used to study venereal syphilis, J. Archaeol. Sci., 32, 703–713, 2005.
Brothwell, D. and Sandison, A. T.: Diseases in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diseases, Injuries and Surgery of Early Populations, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1967.
Cunningham, A. B.: Applied Ethnobotany: People, Wild Plant Use and Conservation, Earthscan, London, 2000.
Short summary
Paleopathology is best approached collaboratively with specialists in many fields, after resolving linguistic misadventures. Proof of concept studies provide windows to recognition of disease and resolution of previous anatomical challenges. Trans-phylogenetic representation of disease falsified speculation that "evolution" precludes analysis through time. Once speculations were tested and verified or falsified, the paleo-epidemiologic approach allowed identification of patterns of spread.