Based on a total of 14 inclusions from Burmese amber the new, extinct insect order Tarachoptera was established. The new order Tarachoptera is placed in the superorder Amphiesmenoptera. The species of Tarachoptera are tiny insects with a wing span of 2.3–4.5 mm, but are highly specialized according to their aberrant morphology. They lived in the forests of Southeast Asia about 100 million years ago.
A new species of fossil mite, Immensmaris chewbaccei, is described from the 100 million-year-old (Cretcaeous) Burmese amber of Myanmar. It belongs to the modern family Smarididae and is of particular note for its enormous size, with a body length of about a centimetre. This makes it the largest example of an erythraeoid mite (the wider group to which it belongs), and in general it is one of the biggest mites ever to be recorded.
The teleosts (e.g., herrings, trouts) comprise the largest group of living fishes today. The aim of the present study is to investigate and describe a new species of the primitive teleost Tharsis from the Late Jurassic. Tharsis is currently known by one species, Tharsis dubious, which is one of the most common fish in the Solnfohen limestone, Bavaria, Germany. A new species, Tharsis elleri, is described and assigned to the family Ascalaboidae within the new order Ascalaboidiformes.
Natural history museums harbor millions of collection items. To exchange and publish the associated data, an appropriate standard is essential. ABCD (Access to Biological Collection Data) enables together with its extension EFG (Extension for Geoscience) sharing and publishing of data related to biology, paleontological, mineralogical, and petrological objects. Here, we review the history of ABCDEFG and highlight its usage by different initiatives and for the data publication in various portals.
We describe a biting trace on the oral surface of a large Maastrichtian holasteroid echinoid Echinocorys ovata from Hemmoor (northern Germany) which exhibits four circular punctures, arranged in a semi-circular arc. The punctures were not lethal to the sea urchin as is indicated by progressed skeletal regeneration and closure of the fractures. The shape and arrangement of the biting trace are analyzed suggesting that it was produced most likely by a globidensine mosasauroid.
Here, we report three new fossil rhopalosomatid wasp specimens from Dominican and Mexican amber. Rhopalosoma hispaniola Lohrmann sp. nov. is described and documented from Dominican amber by two separate inclusions – one of each sex. An additional fossil female Rhopalosoma is described and documented from Mexican amber. The new fossils do not only represent the first fossil records of an extant genus of this peculiar family but also the first records of the family in Dominican and Mexican amber.
This paper presents a description of an extremely well-preserved and articulated skeleton of a temnospondyl amphibian from the early Permian of Oklahoma. Postcranial material is not often well-preserved or well-described in the literature for this group, known as dissorophids, and acquiring new data on this region of the skeleton is important for understanding the evolution of the group. It also represents the first documentation at this site of a genus that was otherwise known only from Texas.
With the support of CT data, a morphometric analysis was performed with the aim of investigating the rostrum size differences between two Toarcian belemnite accumulations. A decrease in size from the Early Toarcian to the Middle Toarcian is recognized. It is also demonstrated that diameter-based measurements or maximum preserved length are not reliable proxies for rostrum size, and therefore apical length or three-dimensional approximations are more advisable.
We give closure on the study cycle of turtle material from Vic area, Middle–Late Eocene, Ebro Basin, Catalonia, Spain. Numerous comparisons with poorly known taxa are carried out, including a first description of the Eochelone shell via E. voltragana. Different swimming evolutionary states and different cheloniid subgroups Osonachelus and Eochelone are described, as well as dispersion Gondwanan forms from Africa and around European coasts.
Extant beaked whales perform deep dives to forage for squids. We studied the morphology of the fossil ziphiid Messapicetus gregarius to evaluate its ability to perform such dives. Our analysis suggests an enlargement of the pterygoid sinus system in deep divers. In M. gregarius, the pterygoid sinus is enlarged, but other lines of evidence indicate that the coastal environment also represented an important part of its home range.
Our ability to reconstruct the marine planktonic diatom early Paleogene history is hampered by decreased preservation as well as by observation bias. Collecting new diatom data in various Paleocene samples from legacy deep-sea sediment sections allows us to correct for the latter. The results show that the Paleocene deep-sea diatoms seem in fact as diverse and abundant as in the later Eocene while exhibiting very substantial survivorship of Cretaceous species up until the Eocene.
In this study, the well-preserved skull of a giant amphibian from the Late Triassic Stuttgart Formation (Schilfsandstein) of Bielefeld-Sieker in NW Germany is described and a new species, Cyclotosaurus buechneri sp. nov., is erected. Cyclotosaurus buechneri represents the only unequivocal evidence of Cyclotosaurus in northern Germany. The amphibian skull was found more than 40 years ago and is well known in Bielefeld and the surrounding areas but has so far never been described.
The Devonian reef limestone complex of Rösenbeck near Brilon (Rhenish Mountains) shows numerous neptunian dykes and other hollows which have been filled with Carboniferous siliciclastic as well as fossil-rich carbonate sediments with ammonoids, conodonts, and chondrichthyan fish. These carbonates represent erratic blocks of sediments which were deposited in elevated areas but subsequently eroded and transported as erratic blocks into the karstic cavities.
A new species of a group of extinct fishes with a worldwide distribution during the Cretaceous, about one hundred million years ago, is described. Motlayoichthys sergioi is an outstanding fossil fish from Mexico with unique characters within the Pachyrhizodontidae. This fish is part of a diverse fauna found in a limestone quarry in Central Mexico. The goal of this paper was to contribute to the knowledge of the family and to continue the study of the Muhi Quarry fish, endemic to Mexico.
The objective was to investigate inner ears and in particular the morphology of the cochlea of fossil and Recent baleen whales to reconstruct the occurrence of low-frequency hearing. Our results of cochlear shape analysis indicate that very low-frequency hearing appeared in the middle Miocene, and infrasonic hearing had evolved by the late Miocene. Cochlear coiling shape is suitable for estimating hearing limits in whales, closely approximated by cochlear length times number of cochlear turns.
Two morphometric methods are applied for the analysis of suture lines in Early Carboniferous ammonoids: (1) classic metric data using multivariate statistic methods and (2) outline data are analysed using the elliptic Fourier analysis. Both methods lead to similar results and demonstrate ontogenetic and phylogenetic trends in these ammonoids: (1) a general decrease in the amplitude of lobes and saddles, (2) a proportional widening of the external lobe, and (3) a heightening of the median saddle.
Mesosaurs were reptiles that lived around 280 mya. They were the first land reptile group to return to the water. Study of a fossil from the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin reveals a previously unobserved baby skeleton near the adult. This small skeleton can tell us about how these creatures grew; the lower segment of the hind limb is already proportionally larger than the upper hind limb and the lower and upper forelimbs. This may be because young mesosaurs needed to swim right from birth.
Duboisia santeng is an extinct Indonesian antelope with short horn cores that sprout up like bunny-ears. A newly discovered skull of Duboisia from north-eastern Thailand confirms that the genus is no longer endemic to Indonesia, and supports a strong faunal interchange between the South East Asian continent and islands before or at the beginning of the Pleistocene.
New entimine weevil, Arostropsis perkovskyi Bukejs and Legalov, sp. nov. from the tribe Naupactini of subfamily Entiminae of the family Curculionidae is described from Late Eocene Rovno amber (Ukraine). The new species is similar to Arostropsis groehni Yunakov et Kirejtshuk, 2011 from Baltic amber. Arostropsis perkovskyi is the second species of the genus Arostropsis. It is the first record of the tribe Naupactini from Rovno amber. Composition of weevil subfamilies in Rovno amber is discussed.
An overlooked taxon of Late Permian dicynodont, Digalodon, is redescribed. Based on new specimens, we recognize Digalodon as a valid taxon that fills an important gap in the record of latest Permian small-bodied herbivores.
We review the fossil history of pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones), one of the oldest terrestrial lineages with
a fossil record that goes back to the Devonian. Pseudoscorpions do not fossilise easily, and records from the Mesozoic and
Cenozoic consist almost exclusively of amber inclusions. Overall, 16 of the 26 recent families have been documented from
fossils. This is a group of evolutionary stasis and we discuss aspects of palaeobiology, preservation, and ecology.
We report the first occurrence of an American lion from the late Pleistocene (≈120 000 years ago) of southeastern Hidalgo, central Mexico. The fossil material includes a lower canine tooth and a manus bone. Some areas of central Mexico were suitable hunting sites for the American lion, considering the high diversity of large mammalian herbivores that have been recorded there. The Mexican record of felids represents an important part of the Pleistocene North American diversity.
Pig-nosed turtles are an enigmatic group of reptiles with an extensive fossil record across the globe. The group is known to have inhabited North America during the Eocene, about 55 to 40 million years ago, but information is still limited regarding the exact morphology of these turtles, as remains are few. Here we document the morphology of the only known skull of a North American pig-nosed turtle based on a fossil from the middle Eocene Washakie Formation of Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA.
Selected specimens from the Jurassic ammonoid Pararnioceras sp. revealed striking changes in the conch morphology due to a syn vivo growth through a parasitic serpulid. Changes in its ontogenetic development are compared with specimens without epizoans. The ecological interpretation of the morphometric data allows the conclusion that the host possessed the ability to counteract the parasitic conch abnormalities by adapting the housing growth, thus ensuring its survival.
The Spanish Algorachelus peregrinus is the oldest pleurodiran turtle known in the Northern Hemisphere. New material is presented, including several shells. The patterns by which some of them were disarticulated are analyzed. Several pathologies are identified. The knowledge about the anatomy and intraspecific variability is improved. Algorachelus is recognized in the Middle East and North America. The oldest known dispersal event of Pleurodira from Gondwana to Laurasia is characterized.
Paleopathologies among fossil members of modern groups of amphibians are poorly documented. We describe pathologies of the fossil salamander Eoscapherpeton asiaticum from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. These pathologies can result from trauma, infection from trauma and congenital disorders. The occurrence of several traumatic femoral pathologies in Eoscapherpeton could result from intraspecific aggressive behavior. Bone pathologies are described for the first time in fossil salamanders.
A new bioerosion trace fossil, the rosette-shaped microboring Neodendrina carnelia igen. et isp. n., is described from a giant clam (Tridacna maxima) discovered in Pleistocene to Holocene coral reef deposits of the Egyptian Red Sea coast. The trace was formed as a complex attachment scar after the host had ceased. The biological identity of the trace maker, probably either a benthic foraminiferan or a macrophyte, is discussed.
Amber is fossilized resin and so has a terrestrial source; however, very rarely have marine microorganisms been reported, and only in a few amber pieces. We aim to understand how this rare phenomenon could be possible. Several different mechanisms were proposed, and we then tested the wind-blown idea via our experiments on resin-rich forests on the coast of New Caledonia. These forests encompass the best model for the Cretaceous ambers that contain these marine microorganisms.
A new lower actinopterygian fossil fish genus and species is described from a Paleozoic site in Canada. The new taxon, based on the study of a well-preserved fossil, is defined by a unique combination of characters including features of the scales and the bones of the snout. A review of previously described fishes from this locality highlights how redescriptions of large cosmopolitan genera, and descriptions of new taxa, are vital to our understanding of the diversity of this group as a whole.
New fungus weevils, Eduardoxenus unicus gen. et sp. nov. is described from late Eocene Rovno amber (Klesov, Rovno region). This fossil fungus weevil is the oldest finding of the tribe Valenfriesiini in fossil state and the first record of the Choraginae from the Eocene ambers. The new genus differs from the genera Cyptoxenus, Valenfriesia and Neoxenus. Palaeogeographical and palaeoclimatological importance of finding Valenfriesiini in Rovno amber is discussed.
Complete morphological descriptions of exceptionally beautifully preserved Late Jurassic fishes from Bavaria (e.g., Ettling and Eichsttät), southern Germany, are provided for a new genus and species, which is endemic of Ettling and for a new family, Ascalaboidae. The new family is only known from marine Upper Jurassic localities of Europe and is interpreted as an extinct and primitive group of Teleostei, which is considered the largest group within osteichthyans (bony fishes).
Plesiosaurians retain a very long neck but greatly reduce neck flexibility, and the cervicals have large, paired, and highly symmetrical foramina on the ventral side of the centrum, traditionally termed subcentral foramina, and on the floor of the neural canal. We found that these dorsal and the ventral foramina are connected by a canal. The foramen are not for nutrient transfer; they are the osteological correlates of a highly paedomorphic vascular system in the neck of plesiosaurs.
Amber functions as a window into the past, capable of capturing behaviors frozen for millions of years. Here, we report on the exceptionally rare discovery of a dinosaur-age larva of a stinging wasp, feeding on its cricket host, in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. It reveals a considerable constancy in the biology of this particular family over the last 100 million years. The excellent preservation of the larva is remarkable and due solely to the fidelity permitted by inclusion in amber.
Extant pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (Kogia spp.) are known as small-sized and enigmatic relatives of the great sperm whale Physeter. Here we describe Koristocetus pescei, a new fossil kogiid from the late Miocene (ca 7 million years ago) of Peru. The description of this new form evokes a long history of morphological and ecological diversity in fossil kogiids, thus suggesting that our comprehension of the evolutionary history of diminutive sperm whales is still far from being exhaustive.
Phreatophasma is a mysterious species from the middle Permian of Russia. Since its description in 1954, it has been assigned to many different groups: therapsids (the most diverse of middle Permian terrestrial vertebrates), caseids (one of the earliest herbivore lineages), and seymouriamorphs (a Permian amphibian clade). Using recent knowledge of morphology and state-of-the art analyses, we confirm that Phreatophasma is one of the youngest members of Caseidae, the second member to enter Russia.