Mennerotodus is a genus of fossil shark that lived during the Paleogene Period, between 65 and 38 million years ago, and was previously known only from Asia and Europe. In this study, new species of Mennerotodus have been identified in the USA from Alabama (Mennerotodus mackayi) and South Carolina (Mennerotodus parmleyi). Mennerotodus mackayi is the oldest of the species, suggesting the genus originated in the Gulf Coastal Plain of the USA during the Paleocene Epoch (~ 65 million years ago).
Forcipulatacea is one of the major clades of extant sea stars with 400 extant species described, but with fewer than 25 fossil species known. Thus, the identification of any new fossil representatives is significant. We reappraise Ophidiaster davidsoni from the Tithonian of Boulogne, France, which was assigned to another major extant group, and reassign it within a new forcipulatacean genus Psammaster gen. nov. A phylogenetic analysis does not place it within any existing forcipulatacean family.
The locality of Groß Pampau in northern Germany is famous for its rich marine mammal assemblage of the Miocene age. A newly discovered ear bone of a fossil sperm whale is described here with morphological characters so far unknown from other sperm whales. It remains unclear at this point if it could belong to a sperm whale whose fragments were discovered in the same locality or to another, already-described taxon, of which the ear bones are still unknown.
We describe the first dinosaur skeletal fossils from the Dunvegan Formation of British Columbia, collected near the Pine River in 1930. These are some of the oldest dinosaur body fossils from British Columbia and western Canada. We identify these bones as partial dorsal vertebrae and ribs from an ankylosaur; ankylosaur footprints are some of the most common fossils in this formation and in this region.
Filter-feeding ctenochasmatid pterosaurs flourished in the Jehol Biota. Here, a new wing skeleton of the ctenochasmatid Forfexopterus is described from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation in Jianchang, western Liaoning, China. Interestingly, it exhibits a skeletal maturity with co-ossified elements, but it is only about 75 % the size of the immature holotype, revealing a developmental variation of Forfexopterus.
The new weevil Igneonasus rudolphi gen. et sp. nov. of the tribe Ceutorhynchini is described from the late Oligocene of Fossillagerstätte Enspel, Germany. The new genus is similar to the Recent genus Stenocarus and the largest representative of the supertribe Ceutorhynchitae. It is the first fossil Curculionidae species described from the paleolake Enspel. In this ancient ecosystem, weevils were at least sometimes an important food resource for the cyprinid fish Palaeorutilus enspelensis.
In this paper, we describe a new species of embolomere from 255-million-year-old fossil beds from northern China. This group of ancient animals is closely related to amniotes (reptiles, birds, and mammals) and was previously thought to have gone extinct around 273 million years ago. The new discovery indicates that North China, with its ancient tropical rain forest, became a last reservoir for these animals right before the end-Permian mass extinction.
A new mid-Cretaceous rhopalosomatid wasp, Cretolixon alatum Lohrmann gen. et sp. nov., is described from Burmese (Kachin) amber. The new genus has a unique mixture of characters, some of which are only known from the recent brachypterous genus Olixon and others of which are known only from the recent macropterous genera. Thus, Cretolixon not only provides further evidence for the monophyly of the family but also contributes evidence for the monophyly of the Rhopalosomatinae.