Science topic

Paleobiology - Science topic

Paleobiology or palaeobiology is a growing and comparatively new discipline which combines the methods and findings of the natural science biology with the methods and findings of the earth science paleontology. It is occasionally referred to as "geobiology".
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Publications related to Paleobiology (3,093)
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Conference Paper
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Localities that yield exceptionally preserved fossils (i.e., lagerstätten) also yield unparalleled details concerning ancient organisms' anatomy, physiology, ecology, behavior, and surrounding ecosystems. These taphonomic anomalies, which occur mostly in low-energy and/or anoxic/hypoxic depositional settings in deep marine, coastal lagoonal, and la...
Preprint
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Paleobiologists often employ network-based methods to analyze the inherently complex data retrieved from geohistorical records. However, they lack a common framework for designing, performing, evaluating, and communicating network-based studies, hampering reproducibility and interdisciplinary research. The high-dimensional and spatiotemporally reso...
Conference Paper
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O Abismo Ponta de Flecha, uma caverna vertical localizada no município de Iporanga, sul do estado de São Paulo, possui uma importante assembleia paleomastozoológica do Quaternário da América do Sul, que são úteis para a compreensão de mudanças paleoambientais e paleoecológicas locais. A origem do depósito de material osteológico foi por quedas acid...
Article
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Darwin Core, the data standard used for sharing modern biodiversity and paleodiversity occurrence records, has previously lacked proper mechanisms for reporting what is known about the estimated age range of specimens from deep time. This has led to data providers putting these data in fields where they cannot easily be found by users, which impede...
Article
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Combe-Grenal site (Southwest France) was excavated by F. Bordes between 1953 and 1965. He found several human remains in Mousterian levels 60, 39, 35 and especially 25, corresponding to MIS 4 (~75–70/60 ky BP) and with Quina Mousterian lithics. One of the fossils found in level 25 is Combe-Grenal IV, consisting of a fragment of the left corpus of a...
Chapter
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Proteins have played a fundamental role throughout life’s history on Earth. Despite their biological importance, ancient origin, early function, and evolution of proteins are seldom able to be directly studied because few of these attributes are preserved across geologic timescales. Ancestral sequence reconstruction (ASR) provides a method to infer...
Article
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Felids are the top predators in the environments they inhabit. They entered South America at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, but their fossil record in Uruguay, although informative, is scarce. In the present contribution, three new materials (two hemimandibles and an isolated first lower molar) assigned to Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758) are des...
Presentation
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The paleohistology, or the study of fossilized bone and other mineralized tissues under a microscope, has about two hundred years of history. In recent decades, the dedicated efforts of myriad paleohistologists have brought this field of research to prominence within the wider science of paleontology – nowadays, paleohistology is a very powerful to...
Article
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Cistecephalidae are a relatively basal clade of dicynodonts, well-nested within emydopoids, and known to have multiple adaptations to a fossorial lifestyle. In recent years cistecephalid taxonomic diversity has been progressively increasing and important insights into the osteology, soft-tissue anatomy, and paleobiology of the clade have improved c...
Article
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Evolvability is best addressed from a multi-level, macroevolutionary perspective through a comparative approach that tests for among-clade differences in phenotypic diversification in response to an opportunity, such as encountered after a mass extinction, entering a new adaptive zone, or entering a new geographic area. Analyzing the dynamics of cl...
Article
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Plesiosaurs are a group of Mesozoic marine diapsids. Most derived plesiosaurs fall into one of two typical body forms: those with proportionately small heads, short snouts, and elongated necks, and those with large heads, elongated snouts, and short necks. Serpentisuchops pfisterae is a polycotylid plesiosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale...
Article
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The Humboldt Current Marine Ecosystem (HCE) is one of the most productive areas in the global ocean, but current anthropogenic stressors, particularly overfishing, pose a significant threat to marine biodiversity. Moreover, the limited time scale of modern assessments may underestimate the magnitude of human alterations to marine biodiversity. Here...
Article
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The definition of the Cretaceous shark genus Cretodus Sokolov, 1965 is primarily based on isolated teeth. This genus includes five species. Among these, Cretodus houghtonorum Shimada and Everhart, 2019 is the only species based on a partially preserved skeleton. Here, the taxonomic attribution of a virtually complete skeleton of Cretodus from the T...
Article
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Fossil occurrence databases are indispensable resources to the palaeontological community, yet present unique data cleaning challenges. Many studies devote significant attention to cleaning fossil occurrence data prior to analysis, but such efforts are typically bespoke and difficult to reproduce. There are also no standardised methods to detect an...
Article
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Billfishes include some of the largest pelagic teleostean species, but several aspects about their morphology, paleobiology, and evolution remain ambiguous. Their fossil record is fragmentary and mostly represented by rostral and skull remains. Here, we present a comparative study of the caudal vertebral morphology of extant istiophorid species and...
Article
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Here, we report on the exceptionally well-preserved deer record from the locality of Pantalla (central Italy), dated in the Early Pleistocene (ca. 2.1–2.0 million years ago). The fossils show a combination of characters that allows an unambiguous attribution to ‘Pseudodama’ nestii, of which they represent one of the most informative collections to...
Article
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Advances in genetics and developmental biology are revealing the relationship between genotype and dental phenotype (G:P), providing new approaches for how paleontologists assess dental variation in the fossil record. Our aim was to understand how the method of trait definition influences the ability to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and ev...
Article
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Developmental plasticity, where traits change state in response to environmental cues, is well studied in modern populations. It is also suspected to play a role in macroevolutionary dynamics, but due to a lack of long-term records, the frequency of plasticity-led evolution in deep time remains unknown. Populations are dynamic entities, yet their r...
Article
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Living crocodylians are frequently regarded as morphologically and ecologically conservative, contrasting with the group's rich fossil record, which reveals a much higher diversity. In particular, Caimaninae is a striking example of such diversity, with only six extant species but a myriad of extinct taxa, exhibiting remarkable morphological variat...
Article
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Allometry is vital for understanding the mechanisms underlying phenotypic evolution. Despite a large body of literature on allometry, studies based on fossil time‐series are limited for solitary organisms and non‐existent for colonial organisms. Allometric relationships have been found to be relatively constant across Recent populations of the same...
Article
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In this paper, I will briefly discuss the elements of novelty and continuity between twentieth-century paleobiology and twenty-first-century paleontology. First, I will outline the heated debate over the disciplinary status of paleontology in the mid-twentieth century. Second, I will analyze the main theoretical issue behind this debate by consider...
Article
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Anthropogenic global warming is redistributing marine life and may threaten tropical benthic invertebrates with several potential extinction mechanisms. The net impact of climate change on geographical extinction risk nevertheless remains uncertain. Evidence of widespread climate-driven extinctions and of potentially unidentified mechanisms exists...
Article
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The diversity of life on Earth is controlled by hierarchical processes that interact over wide ranges of timescales1. Here, we consider the megaclimate regime2 at scales ≥1 million years (Myr). We focus on determining the domains of ‘wandering’ stochastic Earth system processes (‘Court Jester’3) and stabilizing biotic interactions that induce diver...
Article
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Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia) has yielded remains of a faunal community that included small-bodied and small-brained hominins, dwarf proboscideans, Komodo dragons, vultures and giant marabou storks ( Leptoptilos robustus ). Previous research suggested that L. robustus evolved from a smaller L eptoptilos dubius -like Middle Pleistocene ancestor and...
Thesis
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Gastropoda are one of the most diverse living animal group and show an almost steady increase in diversity since their origination in the Cambrian. However, not all gastropod groups underwent this continuous diversification. Many groups became either extinct or decreased in diversity significantly during the evolutionary history of Gastropoda. Unde...
Article
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Fossilization of mammalian young is extremely rare, mainly due to the fragility of bones (smaller and less mineralized) and unfused sutures, which are difficult to preserve during fossil diagenesis. Here, we describe an unprecedented and very complete juvenile of a pampathere, an extinct lineage of Cingulata (Xenarthra). The fossil comprises parts...
Conference Paper
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Predicting why and when a species will become extinct is a crucial, yet challenging task in conservation research. Geohistorical data can provide essential information on how ecosystems reacted to disturbances, such as climate change and anthropogenic impacts, and have proven especially useful in understanding extinction risks. Here, we used a newl...
Article
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Hydrothermal systems and their deposits are primary targets in the search for fossil evidence of life beyond Earth. However, to learn how to decode fossil biomarker records in ancient hydrothermal deposits, we must first be able to interpret unambiguously modern biosignatures, their distribution patterns, and their association with physicochemical...
Preprint
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Phylogenetic analyses and their resultant tree topologies underlie paleobiological studies. Regardless of the type of study, the relationships of focal taxa are foundational, whether implemented in a qualitative or a quantitative framework. This reliance places a premium on the continued refinement of both phylogenetic methods and inference. Temnos...
Article
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Comparisons of life and death assemblages are commonly used to detect environmental change when historical records of live occurrences are unavailable. Most live-dead comparisons focus on assemblage composition, with morphologic comparisons less explored. Nonetheless, shape can vary within species with environmental variables, including pollution,...
Article
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Rarity of soft tissue preservation, including of articular cartilage, in the fossil record hinders creation of biologically-realistic mechanical models. Previous studies of articular cartilage in extant taxa have documented important aspects of cartilage shapes and thicknesses, but these insights remain generalized and have yet to see systematic im...
Article
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Understanding the phylogenetic relationship among derived blastozoans has been a goal of researchers since phylogenetic methodologies were first applied to Paleozoic echinoderms. Paul (2021) proposed a new “pan-dichoporites” group to circumscribe early Paleozoic blastozoans. Unfortunately, this work includes many inaccuracies, non-reproducible anal...
Conference Paper
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Lobsters of the genus Atherfieldastacus are widely distributed in the Lower Cretaceous and are usually preserved in 3D within Thalassinoides burrows or inside nodules and as laterally compressed specimens. They are commonly abundant in the outcrops where they occurred (e.g. Neto de Carvalho, 2016, Ferratges et al., 2021). At Cerro La Parva locality...
Article
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The origin of mandibulate arthropods can be traced back to the Cambrian period to several carapace-bearing arthropod groups, but their morphological diversity is still not well characterized. Here, we describe Balhuticaris voltae, a bivalved arthropod from the 506-million-year-old Burgess Shale (Marble Canyon, British Columbia, Canada). This specie...
Article
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The Devonian has long been a problematic period for paleomagnetism. Devonian paleomagnetic data are generally difficult to interpret and have complex partial or full overprints– problems that arise in data obtained from both sedimentary and igneous rocks. As a result, the reconstruction of tectonic plate motions, largely performed using apparent po...
Article
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Abstract—Carlsbad Caverns National Park (CAVE) is located in southeastern New Mexico, southwest of Carlsbad, Eddy County. Situated in the Chihuahuan Desert, the park includes more than 120 caverns of all sizes, formed by millions of years of limestone dissolution. Best known to visitors for its cave systems with expansive rooms adorned with spectac...
Poster
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Bivalve shells are accretionary biogenic carbonates that yield a record of the organisms’ life history, also with respect to the physiological response to the ambient environmental conditions. This is reflected by variations in the shells’ growth bands, their chemical composition, and morphological features, making them useful tools in paleobiology...
Article
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The Cambrian evolutionary radiations are marked by spectacular biotic turnovers and the establishment of increasingly tiered food chains. At the base of these food chains are primary producers, which in the Cambrian fossil record are chiefly represented among organic-walled microfossils. The majority of these microfossil remains have traditionally...
Article
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Pteridinium simplex is an iconic erniettomorph taxon best known from late Ediacaran successions in South Australia, Russia, and Namibia. Despite nearly 100 years of study, there remain fundamental questions surrounding the paleobiology and paleoecology of this organism, including its life position relative to the sediment–water interface, and how i...
Article
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Based on comprehensive analysis of geological, geochemical, and paleotectonic settings, the conditions for the formation of Neoproterozoic oil and gas source rocks of the Earth are analyzed. A brief review of oil and gas fields in Eastern Siberia, China, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia is given, with Riphean and Vendian terrigenous and carbo...
Article
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Ecological preferences and life history strategies have enormous impacts on the evolution and phenotypic diversity of salamanders, but the yet established reliable ecological indicators from bony skeletons hinder investigations into the paleobiology of early salamanders. Here we statistically demonstrate, by using time-calibrated cladograms and geo...
Article
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Double tooth pathologies are important indicators of trauma, disease, diet, and feeding biomechanics, and are widely documented in mammals. However, diagnosis of double tooth pathologies in extinct non-mammalian vertebrates is complicated by several compounding factors including: a lack of shared terminology reflecting shared etiology, inconsistenc...
Conference Paper
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La paleobiología de la conservación es una disciplina novedosa, de carácter aplicado, que tiene por objetivo aplicar el conocimiento del registro geohistórico a la conservación y restauración de la biodiversidad y servicios de ecosistémicos, a partir de proveer perspectivas temporales que superan la profundidad de los estudios ecológicos. La paleob...
Article
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For billions of years, life has continuously adapted to dynamic physical conditions near the Earth’s surface. Fossils and other preserved biosignatures in the paleontological record are the most direct evidence for reconstructing the broad historical contours of this adaptive interplay. However, biosignatures dating to Earth’s earliest history are...
Article
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The phragmocone-bearing coleoid cephalopods Sepia, Sepiella, Metasepia and Hemisepius (sepiids) are the most diverse of all extant chambered cephalopods and show the highest disparity. As such, they have a great potential to serve as model organisms to better understand the paleobiology not only of extinct coleoids, but of extinct nautiloids and a...
Article
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Florida’s freshwater spring and river ecosystems have been deteriorating due to direct and indirect human impacts. However, while the conservation and restoration strategies employed to mitigate these effects often rely on faunal surveys that go back several decades, the local ecosystem shifts tend to have much deeper roots that predate those fauna...
Article
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Apex predators play an important role in the top-down regulation of ecological communities. Their hunting and feeding behaviors influence, respectively, prey demography and the availability of resources to other consumers. Among the most iconic—and enigmatic—terrestrial predators of the late Cenozoic are the Machairodontinae, a diverse group of big...
Article
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Palaeobiological and archeological excavations at the site of Ewass Oldupa, found in the western Plio-Pleistocene rift basin of Oldupai Gorge (also Olduvai Gorge), Tanzania, revealed rich fossiliferous levels and the earliest remains of human activity at Oldupai Gorge, dated to 2 million years ago. This paper provides zooarchaeological taxonomic, t...
Article
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Homotherium is one of the sabre-toothed felid genera with a more extensive overlap in space and time with species of our own genus Homo, who must have been familiar with the animal, but now we only have its fossil remains to infer its life appearance. A revised reconstruction of the soft tissue and life appearance of Homotherium latidens is propose...
Article
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The study of sambaquis (ancient shell mounds) in conservation paleobiology is a complicated subject, especially when comparing body sizes of current and past mollusk valves to observe possible changes. There is a lack of information regarding how ancient fisher-gardeners collected these shellfish. Another obstacle is finding the hypothesis tests an...
Article
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Symbioses between metazoans and microbes involved in sulfur cycling are integral to the ability of animals to thrive within deep‐sea hydrothermal vent environments; the development of such interactions is regarded as a key adaptation in enabling animals to successfully colonize vents. Microbes often colonize the surfaces of vent animals and, remark...
Article
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Paleobiological reconstructions based on molecular fossils may be limited by degradation processes causing differential preservation of biomolecules, the distinct taxonomic specificity of each biomolecule type, and analytical biases. Here, we combined the analysis of DNA, proteins and lipid biomarkers using 16S and 18S rRNA gene metabarcoding, meta...
Article
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Evaluation of the impact of climatic changes on the composition of fish assemblages requires quantitative measures that can be compared across space and time. In this respect, the mean temperature of the catch (MTC) approach has been proven to be a very useful tool for monitoring the effect of climate change on fisheries catch. Lack of baseline dat...
Chapter
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This paper includes the results of the searching, cataloging and analysis of the organic archaeological material of the Phoenician Necropolis of La Joya (Huelva) preserved in the Museum of Huelva. Not all the material cited by archaeologists were found in the museum. Even so, knowing that the registry was biased, we attempt has been made to carry o...
Article
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Preserving adaptive capacities of coastal ecosystems, which are currently facing the ongoing climate warming and a multitude of other anthropogenic impacts, requires an understanding of long-term biotic dynamics in the context of major environmental shifts prior to human disturbances. We quantified responses of nearshore mollusk assemblages to long...
Article
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Ultraviolet (UV)-screening compounds represent a substantial asset for the survival of cyanobacteria in extreme environments exposed to high doses of UV radiations on modern and early Earth. Among these molecules, the halochromic pigment gloeocapsin remains poorly characterized and studied. In this study, we identified a gloeocapsin-producing culti...
Article
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Despite the promise conservation paleobiology holds for using geohistorical data and insights to solve conservation problems, training in the field typically does not equip students to be competent environmental problem solvers. The intention of this perspective piece is to start a conversation about how we might train conservation paleobiology stu...
Article
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In this paper, we present our experience designing and implementing a hybrid citizen science protocol combining local data collection reported digitally with the return of physical samples by mail. Our project, Fossil Atmospheres, housed within the Paleobiology Department of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, sought t...
Article
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Circular shell rings along the South Atlantic Coast of North America are the remnants of some of the earliest villages that emerged during the Late Archaic (5000-3000 BP). Many of these villages, however, were abandoned during the Terminal Late Archaic (ca 3800-3000 BP). We combine Bayesian chronological modeling with mollusk shell geochemistry and...