Questions related to Vertebrate Paleontology
The carnivorous dimetrodon and the herbivorous edaphosaurus were both Permian period tetrapods with rows of vertical spikes sticking straight up from their backbones. Illustrations show these bones with a thin membrane stretched over them and call it a "sail." It was thought that this structure was for thermoregulation, but this hypothesis has now been fairly thoroughly debunked. So what was it for?
There is a modern animal with a similar structure: the American bison. The bison's hump has bones in it because (unlike the fatty hump of a camel), it houses powerful muscles that allow the bison to swing its massive head from side to side. Its head functions as a snowplow so the bison can get at grass that is buried under a meter or more of snow.
I propose that the edaphosaurus filled the same ecological niche as the bison. It lived on prairie grasslands that got a lot of snow in the winter. That's not a sail, it's a hump!
Dimetrodon means "two measures of teeth" because it was the first animal to have longer teeth at the front of its mouth, somewhat like the canines in carnivorous mammals. I propose that dimetrodon used its long front teeth to grab prey animals and then it used the muscles in its hump to swing its prey from side to side with such force that it snapped the poor animal's neck.
We're working on the description of turtle shell fragments from the late Miocene of Ukraine. There are some unusual traces (shallow parallel grooves) on the dorsal surface of one of the specimen. We tentatively interpreted these traces as rodent tooth marks. Could someone suggest any publications where such traces on either fossil of extant turtle shell are described/figured or at least mentioned. Thank you very much in advance!
Age : Middle Jurassic (Bathonian)
Formation : Continental green marls
I bring to your attention that the site is very rich in other dinosaur bones (Cetiosaurs, Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurs).
I am looking for a journal in Q1 in the area of Paleontology, Zoology or evolution for making a short communication about systematic and taxonomy in fossil carnivorans. I preffer a journal with a quickly and free publication: Am I asking too much? Could anyone provide me some suggestions? Thanks so much in advanced!
All the best,
Fragments of this species are very rare from a terrestrial Lower Cretaceous locality from Germany. Up to now from this locality sauropods could not be proved with certainty. Other vertebrates (sharks, bony fish, amphibians, small reptiles, turtles, crocodiles, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mammals) are represented by partly numerous remains. Sauropod remains would be plausible.
I would therefore like to ask the following questions: Can a sauropod tooth be uniquely identified from a fragment?
What other taxa might be possible for this fragment?
I am curious about your suggestions and hints.
I am studying bat brains through endocranial casts and I cannot identify which structure could be present in sort of a canal located dorsally to the cribriform plate. It is like olfactory nerves exit the olfactory bulbs through the punctuated cribriform plate, while another thing exit the olfactory bulbs more dorsally, going over the cribriform plate. It's really bizarre because it's like a plate of space starting at the antero-dorsal top of the olfactory bulbs, and depending on the taxa it can variate in thickness (sometimes thinner at the center of the bulbs, sometimes the reverse).
I tried to search in the literature but I didn't find anything satisfying. I eliminated the possibility that these structures may be vomeronasal nerves (they originate at the dorsal top of the accessory olfactory bulb, so rather in the middle of the main olfactory bulb ; see Fig. 6 of
Could anyone help me ? Even if you don't work on bats especially, but on other mammalian groups, any idea would be helpful.
Thanks a lot,
Can anyone help me to identify these odd mammary glands in Ornithorynchus anaticus ?
I struggle to understand its mecanism :
The secretion from all these flat lobes have a pore, or is it the central canal that erupt from the the skin ?
Is it compound tubules or acinii in nature ? Or just tubules that radiated around a canal ?
I really want to compare this gland structure to Eutherian mammals.
Thank you very much !
For linear regressions between linear measurements and body mass, which transformation is better to use? base e logarithm (LN)? or base 10 logaritm (LOG10).
Apparently they do not make such a for data transformation, but there might be a difference of which I am not aware, regarding body mass estimates. Any suggested references on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
I seek information of air proportion with respect to total vertebral volume in sauropod vertebrae. To be more precise, the measurement I am after is air proportion with respect to total bone volume i.e. how much of the bone is replaced by pneumatic cavities.
The reason I want such data is to compare them with the results I have obtained based on a new method my co-author and I have developed. The method calculates an estimation of the expression of pneumaticity in vertebrae and we intend to submit this work for publication.
Information can be from published material, appendices/SI that have been lost from the web or from people who would be willing to share their personal unpublished data of scanned sauropod vertebrae. I have been searching the web for a long time but maybe I may have missed some useful sources.
So far, I have retrieved information from Wedel, 2005, Schwarz & Fritsch, 2006, and Zurriaguz & Cerda, 2017. I have not been able to find anything else; for example, the Appendix of Schwarz, Frey and Meyer (2007) does not exist in the archives of Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. In addition, there is not any such information from digital repositories like DigiMorph or MorphoSpace. Have I missed something there? What other sources of information would you suggest?
Measurements can be from any method e.g. CT scanning (X-ray, etc.), ASP (Wedel, 2005) or any other method or technique.
My deepest gratitude to anyone who can help in this project and many thanks for your time and aid, in advance.
All the best,
I have been trouble finding resources to identify these two vertebrae. I am wondering if anyone could help me identify them. These two vertebrae are from the Bridger Formation, Unit B in Wyoming. Thank you for any help.
I'm actually working on an exhibition about footprints and a text without illustration is worthless.
I want to publish a project about taxonomy and systematic in vertebrate paleontology. I have thought in some free journals, but according your experience, I would like to know what is the relatively quickest, or if some of them are very slow. My preliminar candidates are (I think it is IF 2016, please correct me if my information is not correct, especially about Q1,2,3 ...):
- Journal of Paleontology (1,591) Q1 Paleontology
- Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (1.565) Q1 Paleontology
- Historical Biology (1.556) Q?
-Comptes Rendus Palevol (1.39) Q1 Paleontology
Thank so much in advanced!
Can anyone help me with these comparative measurements:
breadths of the 1st and 2nd lophids in lower third molars of Zygolophodon turicensis.
I only found measurements for Malartic (Gears, from Tassy 1977), but I need more.
Thank you in advance!
I am currently working on a section in the southern Perth Basin that was previously thought to be Paleocene from forams and Chinese whispers! - but is turning out to be Late Cretaceous through to Paleocene - will keep you posted if you are interested.
Does Anyone know if the presence of foramina within the longitudinal grooves on ungual claws is common in any type of dinosaurs? The mention of these foramina is rare in the literature (e.g. in a Theropod from France related to Allosaurus: Pérez-Moreno et al., 1993), but I have the doubt if it is that they are usually absent or that the authors do not bother to describe them. Thanks in advance!
I am working with unionid bivalves from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation and have found what I believe is a new genus. I am currently reviewing the Smithsonian collection of Yen and the Missouri collection of Branson. I am looking for someone to help me describe the specimen and publish the description.
I am working on low latitude Paleogene shallow marine fauna of W India and would like to understand the trophic scenario of this fossil community. Where can I find relevant information on extant shallow marine fauna for comparison?
I am working with a linear measurements in order to make OLS Regressions (simple and multiple regresions) with living taxa to estimate the body masses of extinct animals.
In the bibliography, I have found that for making regression your data have to show a normal distribution. But, I have also find some manuscripts in which nothing is said about wether the distribution is normal or not. So, my question is: Is it possible to make regression with data with a not normal distribution? or contrary are there any alternative to the regressions? (I mean in order to make predictive equations to estimate the body mass).
It seems that you can work with "non-normal" data if the non normality is not very hight, or if the residuals in the diagnostic plots show residuals good for good models:
So , what is your experience and opinion about that?
By the way, just in case you need more information about my database for answer me question, all my raw measurement data have been natural log transformed to normalize distribution, and my database is more than 150 specimens.
Thanks so much in advanced!,
All the best,
I am looking for raw data (but also articles or other kind of works) regarding skelton measurements of Esox (E. lucius preferred but not only)
35 years ago, when I was a young boy of 15 years, I could find my first really interesting vertebrate fossil in the garden of my parents house at Ochsenhausen near Biberach/Riß (Southwest-Germany). The stone, a broken furnace brick, with a fossil fish (Holostei, cf. Hypsocormus sp.; see photo!) derives from the area of Holzmaden/Ohmden ("Posidonienschiefer", "Fleins"; Lower Jurassic, Lias Epsilon II3). The total lengths of this fossil fish (with the damaged skull elements) amounts to nearly 40 centimeter.
Do you have an idea, to what taxon this fossil fish of prey belongs to? Please give me informations and/or pictures for comparison with my fossil object!
I've spent dozens of hours in Avizo 9 segmenting a lizards skull. I have 40 different "materials" corresponding to different bones. The project is pretty big.
I want to make a reconstruction of the missing parts of the skull in Maya (maybe you could recommend smth better or simpler than Maya for mac?).
So, I need to export the entire project to Maya without loosing labels, ie I need to edit different bones separately.
This fossil remains has been discovered from limestone section associated larger benthic foraminifers pointing middle Eocene age. This fossil remains resembling to fish scale but the only fin part is in homogeneous while partition in scale part is heterogeneous which raise some doubt. Any one can clear doubt and also suggest some relevant literature for proper identification.
I have recovered this specimen from oligo/Miocene horizon, the type of associated fossils belong to fossil fish and may be belong to fish othilith?
Note: the scale is 5 mm using the square that contained the specimen.
This molar was assigned to M. primigenius, but looks very unusual.
First of all, the structure of the enamel is very unusual: very many tiny plates, and very parallel.
Besides the enamel structure, another issue is represented by the type of fang is presented in the images.
How could you describe this tooth ?
Could this molar be assigend wrong to M. primigenius ? What is the right identification ?
The attached photo show some tracks from a small mammal from an Early Eocene site in western Washington, USA. The radiometric age is 54 Ma. The setting is a low elevation riverbank in a semitropical environment. The footprints consist of 5-toed tracks with narrow digits terminating in slender sharp claws.The stride/gait indications suggest a narrow-bodied animal with fairly long legs, about the size of a modern possum or racoon. Tracks like this have not previously been reported. I welcoming speculations as to a possible track maker.
The teeth come from Eocene marine deposits (old collection so Eocene is not differentiated). Maybe you saw something similar? Any reference you might think? Thank you
I have heard several authors and seen several reconstructions that have portrayed some ornithischians, particularly heterodontosaurids and basal ceratopsians, as omnivorous. I was wondering, is there any positive evidence in support of this hypothesis? That is, beyond "well its possible that they could have been omnivorous based on their anatomy and the fact that a lot of living herbivorous animals have been documented occasionally eating meat" and more along the lines that "this evidence suggests these animals were most likely including some amount of animal matter in their diet". The only evidence I have been able to find so far is Farke's mention of how heterodontosaurid canines do not vary with sex or sexual maturity.
I am looking for comprehensive atlas of Macaca genus anatomy (especially nervous system). Language of the publication is the secondary matter for me.
It is possible that these molars have malformations? Or they were just growing in a wrong way ?
I identify them as Mammuthus primigenius? and the black spots represents burning traces. Probably found near a paleolithic site.
I need to draw rarefaction or species accumulation/rarefaction curves for paleontological samples.
I have the data of the number of specimens of each species is present in each sample. I need to compare curves of different samples to knew of accurate is the sampling and how similar or different are the taphopopulations between sample.
Tank you in advance.
I will be thankful for any suggestions concerning the papers with the description and photos (pictures) of femur and pelvis belonging to leporids from the late Miocene and Pliocene deposits of Europe and Asia (e.g., Alilepus, etc.).
Here are two more mysterious bone elements from a Late Cretaceous freshwater sediment. Mosasaur? Fish? Theropod? I have no idea, but there are two, almost identical one (first three pics and second three pics). Both specimens are nearly 5 cm long.
All comments and all ideas are welcome!
Have a nice day!
Is the shortening of the posterior end of the lower jaw in reptiles typically considered as a defining feature associated with the development of a venom apparatus?
Does anyone have any idea on what this tooth could be? Late Cretaceous, freshwater sediment, lepisosteids and pycnodonts are known from the locality. It doesn't seem to be Lepisosteid, but could it be Amiid?
Any help is welcome!
Have a nice day!
I have seen in several publications on paleoecology that the C3/C4 diet, inferred by carbon isotopes, is treated as exactly the same as the difference between browsing and grazing. Nevertheless it appears that the non tropical grasses use mostly the C3 pathway and tropical grasses use more the C4 pathway.
So my questions are: Does a C4 diet mean necessarily predominantly grazing behaviour? And is C3 diet clearly browsing or could it be both?
I'm currently in the process of creating a model pterosaur limb based off a fossil, but to a larger scale. I wish to create the model 4 times as large as the fossil and am unsure as to whether I could simply multiply the components by 4 (i.e the tibia and feet) or whether I would need to use allometric/isometric scaling equations.
The feet of pterosaurs exhibit isometric growth yet the tibia and femur exhibit allometric growth to body mass (Brower & Veinus, 81).
How would I go about using the allometry formula (Y=a*M^b) in terms of inputting the numbers and calculations. Would tibial length be M and the exponent 4? But then what the intercept be?
Hope this makes sense,
Thank you for your time and help.
I am looking for bibliographical references on the first record of a member of the Order Carnivora in South America (also including marine forms such as proto-pinnipeds, pinnipeds, otters, etc).
All your help is welcome.
Thanks in advance
The rocks containing the fossil are in Terrell County, Texas, late cenomanian, and this horizon is about 50 feet below the cenomanian-turonian boundary as identified by isotope work and nanofossils. I have had two opinions given already: a polycotylid or a pliosaurid such as Brachauchenius. Can anyone give me a species? Both the flipper and the jaw appear to be part of the same individual and are several feet apart, there is a jumble of what appear to be vertebrae in between the two. The scale is in cm. Thanks.
I'd like to identify deinonychosaurian theropod specimens that perfectly preserve the articulated distal end of the gastral basket in lateral view for comparative purposes. Any suggestions?
I am working in a new Oligocene locality from Ecuador, but the rock seems to be the result of a massive pyroclastic flow, covering the continental shelf and quickly burying all the marine animals (most of them are articulated). I am still conducting the petrographic analysis on the rock samples, but I was wondering if there were more examples of these processes in the fossil record.
Thank you in advance.
These remains are derived from the Pliocene strata of Southeastern Europe. They regarded earlier as isolated pharyngeal teeth of Mylopharyngodon. However, I think that these remains may be isolated JAW teeth of some other (non-cyprinid) fishes (maybe Sparidae or something else?). I will be very thankful for help with its identification.
Teilhard de Chardin (1945) studied Neogene mustelid from China. Some of this mustelids , e.g. the holotype of Plesiogulo crassa, Plesiogulo minor and Plesiogulo major are housed in that collection. But I have no idea about where is it. Please, could someone provide me more information?
Thanks so much in advance!!
I have a data set of 19 fossil taxa and 189 morphological characters. I am familiar with Splitstree and T-rex, but like I said, I would prefer a program that is not distance-based.
The enclosed photographs are from Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous fluvial succession of Gondwana. I am of the opinion of their origin through biogenic activities, however, not very sure. The preservation of the structures is in light to dark gray clayey horizons having abundant leaf impressions of Pteridophytic to Gymnospermus remains. The clay units occur as interbedded horizons with siltstone or, lenicular/poketed occurrence in medium grained sandstone