Université de Fribourg

The fossil record of the genus Varanus from the Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia)

Vasilyan, Davit ; Bukhsianidze, Maia

In: PeerJ, 2020, p. e8322

The Southern Caucasus, with its special geographic position and complex topography, is a well-known biodiversity hotspot. However, the formation of this hotspot remains largely unstudied. To reveal this, a thorough study of the fossil record of the region is necessary. In the present paper, we describe for the first time fossil monitor lizards (Varanus sp.) from two late Miocene localities from...

Université de Fribourg

Fish, amphibian and reptilian faunas from latest Oligocene to middle Miocene localities from Central Turkey

Vasilyan, Davit ; Roček, Zbyněk ; Ayvazyan, Anna ; Claessens, Leon

In: Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 2019, vol. 99, no. 4, p. 723–757

In this paper, we describe ectothermic vertebrate assemblages from the Kargı 1, Kargı 2, Kargı 3, Harami1, Harami 3, Hancılı, Keseköy, Çandır and Bağiçi localities in Turkey. The ages of these localities range from the latest Oligocene to the middle Miocene. The preserved non-mammalian fauna of the studied localities includes fishes (Luciobarbus sp., Barbus sp., Luciobarbus vel...

Université de Fribourg

A new species of Palaeopython (Serpentes) and other extinct squamates from the Eocene of Dielsdorf (Zurich, Switzerland)

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Scheyer, Torsten M.

In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 2019, vol. 112, no. 2, p. 383–417

The lizard and snake fauna from the late middle–late Eocene (MP 16–MP 20) of Dielsdorf, near Zurich, Switzerland, is described comprehensively in this paper. Detailed comparisons of the Dielsdorf material with other extinct taxa allow us to establish a new species of the large “booid” genus Palaeopython, i.e., Palaeopython helveticus sp. nov., characterized by a unique combination of...

Université de Fribourg

Phenotypic variation in an oviparous montane lizard (Bassiana duperreyi): the effects of thermal and hydric incubation environments

Flatt, Thomas ; Shine, Richard ; Borges-Landaez, Pedro A. ; Downes, Sharon J.

In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2001, vol. 74, no. 3, p. 339-350

Recent studies have shown that incubation temperatures can profoundly affect the phenotypes of hatchling lizards, but the effects of hydric incubation environments remain controversial.We examined incubation-induced phenotypic variation in Bassiana duperreyi (Gray, 1938; Sauria: Scincidae), an oviparous montane lizard from south-eastern Australia. We incubated eggs from this species in four...

Université de Fribourg

Necrosaurus or Palaeovaranus? Appropriate nomenclature and taxonomic content of an enigmatic fossil lizard clade (Squamata) = Necrosaurus ou Palaeovaranus ? Nomenclature appropriée et contenu systématique d’un clade énigmatique de lézards fossiles (Squamata)

Georgalis, Georgios L.

In: Annales de Paléontologie, 2017, vol. 103, no. 4, p. 293–303

Necrosaurus cayluxi is an enigmatic lizard from the Paleogene of the Phosphorites of Quercy, France that was first mentioned in the 19th century. Although it is generally believed that Filhol was the author who established this taxon, I am herein demonstrating that authorship should in fact be attributed to Zittel, a fact that also influences not only its generic nomenclature, but also its...

Université de Fribourg

Lizards and snakes from the late Miocene hominoid locality of Ravin de la Pluie (Axios Valley, Greece)

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Rage, Jean-Claude ; Bonis, Louis de ; Koufos, George D.

In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 2018, vol. 111, no. 1–2, p. 169–181

We here describe lizards and snakes from the late Miocene (MN 10) of Ravin de la Pluie, near Thessaloniki, Greece, a locality widely known for its hominoid primate Ouranopithecus macedoniensis. The new finds comprise two large-sized lizards (a probable anguine and a varanid) and two snakes (an elapid and a small-sized “colubrine”). Even if the material is represented by few specimens,...

Université de Fribourg

First record of fossil anguines (Squamata; Anguidae) from the Oligocene and Miocene of Turkey

Čerňanský, Andrej ; Vasilyan, Davit ; Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Joniak, Peter ; Mayda, Serdar ; Klembara, Jozef

In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 2017, vol. 110, no. 3, p. 741–751

Fossil anguine lizard specimens from several Turkish localities are described in this paper. The material comes from ten different localities, spanning a large geographic area consisting of both parts of the European Turkey and Anatolia, and ranging in age from the Oligocene to the Late Miocene. In certain cases, the generic determination was possible and, accordingly, members of Ophisaurus...

Université de Fribourg

The last European varanid: demise and extinction of monitor lizards (Squamata, Varanidae) from Europe

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Villa, Andrea ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2017, vol. 37, no. 2, p. e1301946

Remains of a varanid lizard from the middle Pleistocene of the Tourkobounia 5 locality near Athens, Greece are described. The new material comprises cranial elements only (one maxilla, one dentary, and one tooth) and is attributed to Varanus, the genus to which all European Neogene varanid occurrences have been assigned. Previously, the youngest undisputed varanid from Europe had been...

Université de Fribourg

Fossil lizards and snakes from Ano Metochi – a diverse squamate fauna from the latest Miocene of northern Greece

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Villa, Andrea ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Historical Biology, 2017, vol. 29, no. 6, p. 730–742

We here describe a new squamate fauna from the late Miocene (Messinian, MN 13) of Ano Metochi, northern Greece. The lizard fauna of Ano Metochi is here shown to be rather diverse, consisting of lacertids, anguids, and potential cordylids, while snakes are also abundant, consisting of scolecophidians, natricines and at least two different colubrines. If our identification is correct, the Ano...

Université de Fribourg

Inference of evolutionary jumps in large phylogenies using Lévy processes

Duchen, Pablo ; Leuenberger, Christoph ; Szilágyi, Sándor M. ; Harmon, Luke ; Eastman, Jonathan ; Schweizer, Manuel ; Wegmann, Daniel

In: Systematic Biology, 2017, p. -

Although it is now widely accepted that the rate of phenotypic evolution may not necessarily be constant across large phylogenies, the frequency and phylogenetic position of periods of rapid evolution remain unclear. In his highly influential view of evolution, G. G. Simpson supposed that such evolutionary jumps occur when organisms transition into so-called new adaptive zones, for instance...