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

The Fossil Calibration Database, A New Resource for Divergence Dating

Ksepka, Daniel T. ; Parham, James F. ; Allman, James F. ; Benton, Michael J. ; Carrano, Matthew T. ; Cranston, Karen A. ; Donoghue, Philip C. J. ; Head, Jason J. ; Hermsen, Elizabeth J. ; Irmis, Randall B. ; Joyce, Walter G. ; Kohli, Manpreet ; Lamm, Kristin D. ; Leehr, Dan ; Patané, Josés L. ; Polly, P. David ; Phillips, Matthew J. ; Smith, N. Adam ; Smith, Nathan D. ; Tuinen, Marcel van ; Ware, Jessica L. ; Warnock, Rachel C. M.

In: Systematic Biology, 2015, vol. 64, no. 5, p. 853-859

Fossils provide the principal basis for temporal calibrations, which are critical to the accuracy of divergence dating analyses. Translating fossil data into minimum and maximum bounds for calibrations is the most important, and often least appreciated, step of divergence dating. Properly justified calibrations require the synthesis of phylogenetic, paleontological, and geological evidence...