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Université de Fribourg

The rise of angiosperms pushed conifers to decline during global cooling

Condamine, Fabien L. ; Silvestro, Daniele ; Koppelhus, Eva B. ; Antonelli, Alexandre

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020, vol. 117, no. 46, p. 28867–28875

Competition among species and entire clades can impact species diversification and extinction, which can shape macroevolutionary patterns. The fossil record shows successive biotic turnovers such that a dominant group is replaced by another. One striking example involves the decline of gymnosperms and the rapid diversification and ecological dominance of angiosperms in the Cretaceous. It is...

Université de Fribourg

The woody planet : from past triumph to manmade decline

Fazan, Laurence ; Song, Yi-Gang ; Kozlowski, Gregor

In: Plants, 2020, vol. 9, no. 11, p. 1593

Woodiness evolved in land plants approximately 400 Mya, and very soon after this evolutionary invention, enormous terrestrial surfaces on Earth were covered by dense and luxurious forests. Forests store close to 80% of the biosphere’s biomass, and more than 60% of the global biomass is made of wood (trunks, branches and roots). Among the total number of ca. 374,000 plant species worldwide,...

Université de Fribourg

Dental anomaly in a middle Miocene fossil of the genus Spermophilinus (Rodentia, Sciuridae) from southern Germany

Prieto, Jérôme ; Rummel, Michael ; Peláez-Campomanes, Pablo ; Vasilyan, Davit

In: Fossil Imprint, 2020, vol. 76, no. 1, p. 174-180

The maxillary presented in this work has been excavated in the middle Miocene karst filling Petersbuch 136 (Germany, Bavaria) and shows the oldest evidence of dental anomaly in a sciurid. The aberrant morphology, probably hyperdontia or no replacement of roots of deciduous teeth, affects the area of the P3, a tooth that is generally not well documented in the Spermophilinus record.

Université de Fribourg

Cranial osteology of the early cretaceous turtle Pleurosternon bullockii (paracryptodira: pleurosternidae)

Evers, Serjoscha W. ; Rollot, Yann ; Joyce, Walter G.

In: PeerJ, 2020, vol. 8, p. e9454

Pleurosternon bullockii is a turtle from the Early Cretaceous of Europe known from numerous postcranial remains. Only one skull has so far been referred to the species. Pleurosternon bullockii belongs to a group of turtles called pleurosternids, which is thought to include several poorly known taxa from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Europe and North America. Pleurosternids and...

Université de Fribourg

VAPYRIN-like is required for development of the moss Physcomitrella patens

Rathgeb, Ursina ; Chen, Min ; Buron, Flavien ; Feddermann, Nadja ; Schorderet, Martine ; Raisin, Axelle ; Häberli, Gabrielle-Yasymi ; Marc-Martin, Sophie ; Keller, Jean ; Delaux, Pierre-Marc ; Schaefer, Didier G. ; Reinhardt, Didier

In: Development, 2020, vol. 147, no. 11, p. dev184762

The VAPYRIN (VPY) gene in Medicago truncatula and Petunia hybrida is required for arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis. The moss Physcomitrella patens has a close homolog (VPY-like, VPYL), although it does not form AM. Here, we explore the phylogeny of VPY and VPYL in land plants, and study the expression and developmental function of VPYL in P. patens. We show that VPYL is expressed ...

Université de Fribourg

A new species of baenid turtle from the Early Cretaceous Lakota Formation of South Dakota

Joyce, Walter G. ; Rollot, Yann ; Cifelli, Richard L.

In: Fossil Record, 2020, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 1–13

Baenidae is a clade of paracryptodiran turtles known from the late Early Cretaceous to Eocene of North America. The proposed sister-group relationship of Baenidae to Pleurosternidae, a group of turtles known from sediments dated as early as the Late Jurassic, suggests a ghost lineage that crosses the early Early Cretaceous. We here document a new species of paracryptodiran turtle, Lakotemys...

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

The last Palaeoproteus (Urodela: Batrachosauroididae) of Europe

Vasilyan, Davit ; Yanenko, Vadym

In: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, p. 2733

The Batrachosauroididae are an enigmatic group of salamanders known from the Cretaceous and Tertiary of North America and Europe. In Europe, the family is known only by two species of the genus Palaeoproteus. The genus has limited distribution in Western and Central Europe. In the present paper, we describe a new species, Palaeoproteus miocenicus, from the early late Miocene (11–9 Ma) of...