January 2010 News

January 31, 2010

A study on the decomposition of Amphioxus, shed light on the aspect of the ancestry of vertebrates.
Robert S. Sansom, Sarah E. Gabbott & Mark A. Purnell, 2010.Non-random decay of chordate characters causes bias in fossil interpretation. Nature 463, 797-800 (11 February 2010).
Press release:
Novel studies of decomposition shed new light on our earliest fossil ancestry, Eurekalert.

Four stages of decay of Amphioxus. Photo by Mark Purnell, Rob Sansom, Sarah Gabbott, University of Leicester

January 29, 2010

Haplocheirus sollers, a new basal alvarezsaurid from the Late Jurassic of China.
Ref: J. N. Choiniere, X. Xu, J. M. Clark, C. A. Forster, Y. Guo and F. Han. 2010. A basal alvarezsauroid theropod from the early Late Jurassic of Xinjiang, China. Science 327(5965):571-574.
Press release: Fossil find in China boosts dinosaur-bird link, Sfgate.

Bistahieversor sealeyi, a new Tyrannosauroid from the Late Cretaceous of New Mexico.
Ref: Carr, Thomas D. and Williamson, Thomas E., 2010 Bistahieversor sealeyi, gen. et sp. nov., a new tyrannosauroid from New Mexico and the origin of deep snouts in Tyrannosauroidea. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, vol. 30 (1), pp. 1–16.
Press release: New "Destroyer" Dinosaur Found, Was T. Rex Relative, National Geographic.

Skull of Bistahieversor sealeyi. Photo by David Baccadutre, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

January 27, 2010

Study of fossilized melanosomes in feathers allow scientists to reconstruct the color of a dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx.
Ref: Zhang, F., Kearns, S.L., Orr, P.J., Benton, M.J., Zhou, Z., Johnson, D., Xu, X. and Wang, X. 2010. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds. Nature, advanced online publication, 27 January 2010.
Press release: Dinosaur True Colors Revealed for First Time, National Geographic.

Sinosauropteryx by James Robins.

January 20, 2010

A new theory on the origin of the primates trace back their common ancestor to the Jurassic period.
Ref: Michael Heads. Evolution and biogeography of primates: a new model based on molecular phylogenetics, vicariance and plate tectonics. Zoologica Scripta, published online 2009.
Press release: New Theory on the Origin of Primates, Science Daily.

January 8, 2010

Ancient jewelry made of seashells indicate Neanderthal had the notion of symbolism.
Press release: Prehistoric Jewelry Reveals Neanderthal Fashion Sense, Discovery News.

January 6, 2010

The oldest tetrapod tracks have been uncovered in Poland dating from the Middle Devonian, indicating that land tetrapods evolved millions of year earlier than previously thought.
Ref: Niedzwiedzki G, Szrek P, Narkiewicz K, Narkiewicz M, Ahlberg PE. 2010. Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature 463(7277): 43-48.
Press release: Fossil tracks record 'oldest land-walkers', BBC News.

Foot morphology of early tetrapods. From Niedzwiedzki et al., 2010.