Baenids are a group of fossil turtles with a rich fossil record that spans from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) to Eocene of North America. Only a few fossils are known that document the early evolution of the group. We here describe a new species of baenid, Lakotemys australodakotensis, from the Early Cretaceous (Berriasian to Valanginian) Lakota Formation of South Dakota, USA. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this is the oldest known baenid turtle.
Insects have been feeding on plants for over 300 million years. The fossil record preserves evidence of this behavior: it is possible to examine a fossilized leaf and see the spots where insects ate it or laid their eggs in it. The study of these insect traces on leaves shows us how insects have adapted to changing climates. Here, we address the question of how many leaves from a single fossil locality must be examined to permit statistically robust comparisons in deep time.
Jana Gliwa, Abbas Ghaderi, Lucyna Leda, Martin Schobben, Sara Tomás, William J. Foster, Marie-Béatrice Forel, Nahideh Ghanizadeh Tabrizi, Stephen E. Grasby, Ulrich Struck, Ali Reza Ashouri, and Dieter Korn
The Permian–Triassic boundary section of the Aras Valley (NW Iran) shows a complete sedimentary succession, bearing great potential for studying the change of environmental conditions that paralleled the end-Permian mass extinction. The lithological succession; carbonate microfacies characteristics; stable isotope dynamics; and conodont, ostracod, and ammonoid stratigraphy allow for a detailed study of the chronological succession of the events.
We describe a new species and genus of weevils, Baltacalles triumurbium, from the Eocene amber of the Sambia Peninsula (Kaliningrad Region, Russia). The new fossil represents the first Eocene representative of the group. In addition to the taxonomic work, the locally distinct deposits of Baltic amber in the Kaliningrad Region are listed, discussed, photographed and mapped. The importance of the possible exact labeling of the amber material is underlined.
Peltochelys duchastelii is an enigmatic fossil turtle from the Early Cretaceous of Bernissart, Belgium. Here we provide an alternative interpretation of the morphology of this turtle, which suggests for the first time relationships with paracryptodires, a now extinct group of turtles known from coeval deposits throughout western Europe and North America.
New fossil species of skin beetles (Dermestidae) from two bioinclusions in Eocene ambers (Baltic and Rovno) are described and compared with extinct and extant congeners. The affinity of the Rovno and Baltic amber varieties is briefly reviewed. The checklist of the described beetles (57 species) from Rovno amber is compiled and presented for the first time.
A male of the extinct leaf-beetle species Calomicrus eocenicus embedded in Baltic amber is found and compared with an earlier known female. The beetle genitalia are illustrated in detail using X-ray microtomography. The male is smaller than female and has a modified last abdominal segment. The extinct species (about 40 million years old) possesses typical sexual characters which are similar to the characters of extant beetles within the group.