Paleontology
Ian Baldwin
Edited by
Ian Baldwin et al.

Paleontology: A Collection of Articles

eLife has published papers on topics as diverse as paleoproteomics, ancient insects and the discovery of a new hominin species.
Collection
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Collection

    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Plant Biology

    An unexpected noncarpellate epigynous flower from the Jurassic of China

    Qiang Fu, Jose Bienvenido Diez ... Xin Wang
    Flowers did bloom in the Early Jurassic.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Support for a clade of Placozoa and Cnidaria in genes with minimal compositional bias

    Christopher E Laumer, Harald Gruber-Vodicka ... Gonzalo Giribet
    Protein coding genes strongly support a sister group relationship between Placozoa and Cnidaria to the exclusion of Bilateria, contradicting previous phylogenies, which have likely been misled by pervasive compositional heterogeneity.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Oldest skeleton of a fossil flying squirrel casts new light on the phylogeny of the group

    Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Joan Garcia-Porta ... David M Alba
    Flying squirrels may have originated earlier than previously thought and remained unchanged for almost 12 million years.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Neurocranial anatomy of an enigmatic Early Devonian fish sheds light on early osteichthyan evolution

    Alice M Clement, Benedict King ... John A Long
    Stunning new scan data of an enigmatic fish from the Early Devonian of Australia, Ligulalepis, is identified as a stem osteichthyan, specifically, as the sister taxon to the 'psarolepids' plus crown osteichthyans.
    1. Genetics and Genomics

    A new genus of horse from Pleistocene North America

    Peter D Heintzman, Grant D Zazula ... Beth Shapiro
    The extinct stilt-legged equids of North America are not related to Asiatic asses or horses, but instead represent a distinct lineage outside of living equid diversity that became extinct in the terminal Pleistocene.
    1. Genetics and Genomics

    Palaeogenomes of Eurasian straight-tusked elephants challenge the current view of elephant evolution

    Matthias Meyer, Eleftheria Palkopoulou ... Michael Hofreiter
    DNA sequences from the Middle Pleistocene reveal that the extinct Eurasian straight-tusked elephants were closely related to today's African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in Africa.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa

    Paul HGM Dirks, Eric M Roberts ... Lee R Berger
    Independent dating techniques have established that the H. naledi fossils are between 236 and 335 thousand years old, indicating that small-brained hominins with relatively primitive body shapes co-existed with our early ancestors in Africa.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    New fossil remains of Homo naledi from the Lesedi Chamber, South Africa

    John Hawks, Marina Elliott ... Lee R Berger
    The discovery of new skeletal remains of Homo naledi in the Lesedi Chamber, South Africa, adds more evidence to our understanding of the morphology and behavior of this recently discovered species.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Homo naledi and Pleistocene hominin evolution in subequatorial Africa

    Lee R Berger, John Hawks ... Eric M Roberts
    A late Middle Pleistocene age for Homo naledi demonstrates a diversity of hominin species in Africa at this critical time in the archaeological record.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    Lee R Berger, John Hawks ... Bernhard Zipfel
    A new hominin species has been unearthed in the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system in the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    Paul HGM Dirks, Lee R Berger ... Steven Tucker
    A new hominin species found in a South African cave is part of one of the most unusual hominin fossil assemblages on record.
    1. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    New footprints from Laetoli (Tanzania) provide evidence for marked body size variation in early hominins

    Fidelis T Masao et al
    Bipedal footprints made 3.66 million years ago provide the clearest available evidence to date of the occurrence of marked body size variation in Australopithecus afarensis..
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Protein sequences bound to mineral surfaces persist into deep time

    Beatrice Demarchi, Shaun Hall ... Matthew J Collins
    A chemically unstable ostrich eggshell peptide survives for at least 3.8 million years at the equator, stabilized by strong mineral interactions.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Heart fossilization is possible and informs the evolution of cardiac outflow tract in vertebrates

    Lara Maldanis, Murilo Carvalho ... José Xavier-Neto
    The discovery of a fossil heart in Rhacolepis buccalis demonstrates that it is possible to scrutinize the fossil record for important clues on cardiac structure and evolution.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Brood care in a 100-million-year-old scale insect

    Bo Wang, Fangyuan Xia ... Jacek Szwedo
    The discovery of the earliest direct evidence of brood care in insects demonstrates a remarkably conserved egg-brooding reproductive strategy within scale insects in stasis for nearly 100 million years.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Extreme adaptations for aquatic ectoparasitism in a Jurassic fly larva

    Jun Chen, Bo Wang ... Jes Rust
    Well-preserved fossils reveal an extreme morphological specialization of fly larvae, and broaden our understanding of the diversity of ectoparasitism in Mesozoic insects.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Preservation of three-dimensional anatomy in phosphatized fossil arthropods enriches evolutionary inference

    Achim H Schwermann, Tomy dos Santos Rolo ... Thomas van de Kamp
    X-ray imaging reveals well-preserved internal characters in mineralized arthropods from the Paleogene, urging the reexamination of previously neglected fossil collections.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Methylation at the C-2 position of hopanoids increases rigidity in native bacterial membranes

    Chia-Hung Wu, Maja Bialecka-Fornal, Dianne K Newman
    Methylation specifically enhances the ability of hopanoids to rigidify membranes under physiologically relevant conditions, which impacts the current interpretation of the 2-methylhopane fossil record.
    1. Ecology

    First bone-cracking dog coprolites provide new insight into bone consumption in Borophagus and their unique ecological niche

    Xiaoming Wang, Stuart C White ... Z Jack Tseng
    Fossilized feces (coprolites) of extinct bone-crushing dogs, Borophagus parvus, from late Miocene (6 million years ago) of California demonstrates consumption and preservation of bones in digestive tracts and potential social hunting behavior by these predators.