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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

Neuroanatomy of the spinosaurid Irritator challengeri (Dinosauria: Theropoda) indicates potential adaptations for piscivory

Schade, Marco ; Rauhut, Oliver W. M. ; Evers, Serjoscha W.

In: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 9259

Spinosauridae, a theropod group characterized by elongated snouts, conical teeth, enlarged forelimbs, and often elongated neural spines, show evidence for semiaquatic adaptations and piscivory. It is currently debated if these animals represent terrestrial carnivores with adaptations for a piscivorous diet, or if they largely lived and foraged in aquatic habitats. The holotype of Irritator...

Université de Fribourg

Fossil amphibians and reptiles from the Neogene locality of Maramena (Greece), the most diverse European herpetofauna at the Miocene/Pliocene transition boundary

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Villa, Andrea ; Ivanov, Martin ; Vasilyan, Davit ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Palaeontologia Electronica, 2019, p. -

We herein describe the fossil amphibians and reptiles from the Neogene (latest Miocene or earliest Pliocene; MN 13/14) locality of Maramena, in northern Greece. The herpetofauna is shown to be extremely diverse, comprising at least 30 different taxa. Amphibians include at least six urodelan (Cryptobranchidae indet., Salamandrina sp., Lissotriton sp. [Lissotriton vulgaris group], Lissotriton sp.,...

Université de Fribourg

Mechanisms of vision in the fruit fly

Andres-Bragado, Lucia de ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Current Opinion in Insect Science, 2019, vol. 36, p. 25–32

Vision is essential to maximize the efficiency of daily tasks such as feeding, avoiding predators or finding mating partners. An advantageous model is Drosophila melanogaster, since it offers tools that allow genetic and neuronal manipulation with high spatial and temporal resolution, which can be combined with behavioral, anatomical and physiological assays. Recent advances have expanded our...

Université de Fribourg

Simple assessment of height and length of flight in complex gymnastic skills: validity and reliability of a two-dimensional video analysis method

Schärer, Christoph ; Siebenthal, Luca von ; Lomax, Ishbel ; Gross, Micah ; Taube, Wolfgang ; Hübner, Klaus

In: Applied Sciences, 2019, vol. 9, no. 19, p. 3975

In artistic gymnastics, the possibility of using 2D video analysis to measure the peak height (hpeak) and length of flight (L) during routine training in order to monitor the execution and development of difficult elements is intriguing. However, the validity and reliability of such measurements remain unclear. Therefore, in this study, the hpeak and L of 38 vaults, performed by top-level...

Université de Fribourg

Early Miocene herpetofaunas from the Greek localities of Aliveri and Karydia – bridging a gap in the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from the early Neogene of southeastern Europe

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Villa, Andrea ; Ivanov, Martin ; Roussiakis, Socrates ; Skandalos, Panagiotis ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Historical Biology, 2019, vol. 31, no. 8, p. 1045–1064

We here describe new remains of amphibians and reptiles from the early Miocene (MN 4) of two different Greek localities, Aliveri and Karydia. The newly described material consists of urodelans, alytids, indeterminate anurans, turtles, crocodylians, lacertids, indeterminate scincomorphs, anguids, colubrids, viperids, and indeterminate snakes. The presence of the frog Latonia cf. gigantea in...

Université de Fribourg

Adaptation to developmental diet influences the response to selection on age at reproduction in the fruit fly

May, Christina M. ; Heuvel, Joost van den ; Doroszuk, Agnieszka ; Hoedjes, Katja M. ; Flatt, Thomas ; Zwaan, Bas J.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2019, vol. 32, no. 5, p. 425–437

Experimental evolution (EE) is a powerful tool for addressing how environmental factors influence life‐history evolution. While in nature different selection pressures experienced across the lifespan shape life histories, EE studies typically apply selection pressures one at a time. Here, we assess the consequences of adaptation to three different developmental diets in combination with...

Université de Fribourg

The faster, the better? Relationships between run-up speed, the degree of difficulty (D-score), height and length of flight on vault in artistic gymnastics

Schärer, Christoph ; Lehmann, Thomas ; Naundorf, Falk ; Taube, Wolfgang ; Hübner, Klaus

In: PLOS ONE, 2019, vol. 14, no. 3, p. e0213310

On vault in artistic gymnastics, a high run-up speed is thought to be important when performing difficult vaults. To test this assumption in a large cohort of elite athletes, we calculated the correlations between the run-up speed, scores, height and length of flight for handspring-, Tsukahara- and Yurchenko-style vaults and compared the performances of male and female elite and junior...

Université de Fribourg

Intracortical inhibition increases during postural task execution in response to balance training

Mouthon, Audrey ; Taube, Wolfgang

In: Neuroscience, 2019, vol. 401, p. 35–42

Intracortical inhibitory modulation seems crucial for an intact motor control and motor learning. However, the influence of long(er) term training on short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) is scarcely investigated. With respect to balance, it was previously shown that with increasing postural task difficulty, SICI decreased but the effect of balance training (BT) is unknown. The...

Université de Fribourg

Paying the costs of reproduction

Flatt, Thomas

In: eLife, 2015, vol. 4, p. e09556

When a female fly mates it produces a hormone that increases the size of its midgut and enhances fat metabolism in order to provide the energy needed for reproduction.