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Université de Fribourg

Enigmatic dinosaur precursors bridge the gap to the origin of Pterosauria

Ezcurra, Martín D. ; Nesbitt, Sterling J. ; Bronzati, Mario ; Vecchia, Fabio Marco Dalla ; Agnolin, Federico L. ; Benson, Roger B. J. ; Egli, Federico Brissón ; Cabreira, Sergio F. ; Evers, Serjoscha W. ; Gentil, Adriel R. ; Irmis, Randall B. ; Martinelli, Agustín G. ; Novas, Fernando E. ; Silva, Lúcio Roberto da ; Smith, Nathan D. ; Stocker, Michelle R. ; Turner, Alan H. ; Langer, Max C.

In: Nature, 2020, vol. 588, no. 2020-7838, p. 445–449

Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to evolve powered flight1 and comprised one of the main evolutionary radiations in terrestrial ecosystems of the Mesozoic era (approximately 252–66 million years ago), but their origin has remained an unresolved enigma in palaeontology since the nineteenth century2,3,4. These flying reptiles have been hypothesized to be the close relatives of a wide...

Université de Fribourg

Birds have peramorphic skulls, too: anatomical network analyses reveal oppositional heterochronies in avian skull evolution

Plateau, Olivia ; Foth, Christian

In: Communications Biology, 2020, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 195

In contrast to the vast majority of reptiles, the skulls of adult crown birds are characterized by a high degree of integration due to bone fusion, e.g., an ontogenetic event generating a net reduction in the number of bones. To understand this process in an evolutionary context, we investigate postnatal ontogenetic changes in the skulls of crown bird and non-avian theropods using anatomical...

Université de Fribourg

Subfossil lemur discoveries from the Beanka Protected Area in western Madagascar

Burney, David A. ; Andriamialison, Haingoson ; Andrianaivoarivelo, Radosoa A. ; Bourne, Steven ; Crowley, Brooke E. ; Boer, Erik J. de ; Godfrey, Laurie R. ; Goodman, Steven M. ; Griffiths, Christine ; Griffiths, Owen ; Hume, Julian P. ; Joyce, Walter G. ; Jungers, William L. ; Marciniak, Stephanie ; Middleton, Gregory J. ; Muldoon, Kathleen M. ; Noromalala, Eliette ; Pérez, Ventura R. ; Perry, George H. ; Randalana, Roger ; Wright, Henry T.

In: Quaternary Research, 2020, vol. 93, no. 1, p. 187–203

A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these...

Université de Fribourg

A new alligatoroid from the Eocene of Vietnam highlights an extinct Asian clade independent from extant Alligator sinensis

Massonne, Tobias ; Vasilyan, Davit ; Rabi, Márton ; Böhme, Madelaine

In: PeerJ, 2019, vol. 7, p. e7562

During systematic paleontological surveys in the Na Duong Basin in North Vietnam between 2009 and 2012, well-preserved fossilized cranial and postcranial remains belonging to at least 29 individuals of a middle to late Eocene (late Bartonian to Priabonian age (39–35 Ma)) alligatoroid were collected. Comparative anatomical study of the material warrants the diagnosis of a new taxon,...

Université de Fribourg

On trends and patterns in macroevolution: Williston’s law and the branchiostegal series of extant and extinct osteichthyans

Ascarrunz, Eduardo ; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R. ; Betancur, Ricardo ; Laurin, Michel

In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2019, vol. 19, no. 1, p. 117

The branchiostegal series consists of an alignment of bony elements in the posterior portion of the skull of osteichthyan vertebrates. We trace the evolution of the number of elements in a comprehensive survey that includes 440 extant and 66 extinct species. Using a newly updated actinopterygian tree in combination with phylogenetic comparative analyses, we test whether osteichthyan...

Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries

Proximate control and adaptive potential of protandrous migration in birds

Coppack, Timothy ; Pulido, Francisco

In: Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2009, vol. 49, no. 5, p. 493-506