A specimen of an extinct relative of damsel- and dragonflies was discovered from ca. 310-million-years-old strata from New Brunswick (Canada). It is composed of an incomplete hindwing belonging to a new species whose wingspan was about 35 cm. Despite its incompleteness, it composes a useful addition to our knowledge of the early evolution of the group, owing to its unique combination of traits.
A new micro-histerid species is described and illustrated from Eocene Baltic amber. As the first extinct member of the subfamily Abraeinae (Histeridae) and the smallest known fossil histerid specimen, this material was examined using a combination of light microscopy and X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT). Internal features of the abdomen are well preserved, allowing us to study sclerotized parts of the aedeagus and illustrate these structures in detail.
Climate and connection between marine basins have formed the modern Mediterranean fish fauna. Here, we present new data for the early stages of the fish fauna, 20–23 million years ago, when the Mediterranean Sea was starting to take its actual shape, and we show its relationship to the fish faunas of the surrounding seas. Two new fish species are described: Ariosoma mesohellenica and Gnathophis elongatus.
The early Oligocene Podocnemisfajumensis and the early Miocene Podocnemisaegyptiaca are two podocnemidid pleurodiran turtles from northern Egypt, defined more than a century ago. Both species are confirmed as valid. They are attributed to two new genera, corresponding to the oldest defined for the African record of Erymnochelyini. Thus, the new combinations Shetwemys fajumensis and Apeshemys aegyptiaca are proposed.
The Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) played a crucial role in shaping the biodiversity in Asia during the Cenozoic, but the evolutionary history of biodiversity in this large region remains unclear. Here, we report a new fossil record of Fulgoridae from the middle Eocene Lunpola Basin, central QTP, which represents the earliest Fulgoridae fossil record in Asia and suggests a warm climate with relatively low elevation during the middle Eocene in central QTP.
A new species of dolphin is named on the basis of a partial skull. It was found on a riverbed in North Carolina, USA. During the Miocene it lived in a marine environment. It is most closely related to the Amazon river dolphin. During the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, relatives of the freshwater river dolphins were living in marine environments. More recently, these marine species became extinct, survived only by those species that successfully invaded South American riverine systems.
In this work we sought to use modern research techniques to revisit a ichthyosaur specimen from Portugal, the most complete fin of our fossil record, and verify the validity of the specimen's historical identification. Through the use of phylogenetic analysis and anatomical comparisons with other specimens, we have assigned a new classification to the specimen and concluded it is the southernmost exemplar of the group.
Eryopids were 2 m large relatives of modern amphibians that formed top predators in the Paleozoic. They are found in aquatic deposits and apparently preyed on fishes. Their life cycle is preserved in a single species, Onchiodon labyrinthicus, from eastern Germany. It existed in a stressed ecosystem, and the broad variation in the studied sample correlates with seasonal fluctuations. Eryopids evolved into increasingly large, heavily built inhabitants of streams and seasonal water bodies.
Currently, little is known about the natural chemical variability of resins and ambers. To understand how much resin variability occurs naturally we ran experiments on plants and then investigated the resultant resins with FTIR-ATR spectroscopy. We detected that resin viscosity and genetic variation are important factors in determining the amount of variation in resin chemistry. This natural variability needs to be taken into account when testing resin and amber chemistries in the future.