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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

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

First fossil frog from Antarctica: implications for Eocene high latitude climate conditions and Gondwanan cosmopolitanism of Australobatrachia

Mörs, Thomas ; Reguero, Marcelo ; Vasilyan, Davit

In: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, p. 5051

Cenozoic ectothermic continental tetrapods (amphibians and reptiles) have not been documented previously from Antarctica, in contrast to all other continents. Here we report a fossil ilium and an ornamented skull bone that can be attributed to the Recent, South American, anuran family Calyptocephalellidae or helmeted frogs, representing the first modern amphibian found in Antarctica. The two bone...

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...

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

A review of the fossil record of nonbaenid turtles of the clade Paracryptodira

Joyce, Walter G. ; Anquetin, Jérémy

In: Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 2019, vol. 60, no. 2, p. 129–155

The fossil record of nonbaenid paracryptodires ranges from the Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian) to the Paleocene of North America and Europe only. Earlier remains may be present as early as the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian). Only a single dispersal event is documented between the two continents after their breakup during the Cretaceous in the form of the appearance of the Compsemys lineage in the ...