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Embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal efficiency is determined by the level of Nanog expression. However, the mechanisms by which Nanog functions remain unclear, and in particular, direct Nanog target genes are uncharacterized. Here we investigate ESCs expressing different Nanog levels and Nanog(-/-) cells with distinct functionally inducible Nanog(More)
A partial dinosaur skeleton from the Upper Triassic (Norian) sediments of South Africa is described and named Antetonitrus ingenipes. It provides the first informative look at a basal sauropod that was beginning to show adaptations towards graviportal quadrupedalism such as an elongated forelimb, a modified femoral architecture, a shortened metatarsus and a(More)
Transcription factors, such as Oct4, are critical for establishing and maintaining pluripotent cell identity. Whereas the genomic locations of several pluripotency transcription factors have been reported, the spectrum of their interaction partners is underexplored. Here, we use an improved affinity protocol to purify Oct4-interacting proteins from mouse(More)
A 251 million year old partial burrow cast containing an articulated skeleton of the mammal-like carnivore Thrinaxodon liorhinus is the oldest evidence for burrowing by a cynodont synapsid. The burrow cast comes from terrestrial flood plain sediments close to the Permian-Triassic boundary in the Karoo of South Africa. Together with those of the later(More)
Aardonyx celestae gen. et sp. nov. is described from the upper Elliot Formation (Early Jurassic) of South Africa. It can be diagnosed by autapomorphies of the skull, particularly the jaws, cervical column, forearm and pes. It is found to be the sister group of a clade of obligatory quadrupedal sauropodomorphs (Melanorosaurus + Sauropoda) and thus lies at(More)
Fossorialism is a beneficial adaptation for brooding, predator avoidance and protection from extreme climate. The abundance of fossilised burrow casts from the Early Triassic of southern Africa is viewed as a behavioural response by many tetrapods to the harsh conditions following the Permo-Triassic mass-extinction event. However, scarcity of vertebrate(More)
Eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs both evolved lineages of huge terrestrial herbivores. Although significantly more saurischian dinosaurs were giants than eutherians, the long bones of both taxa scale similarly and suggest that locomotion was dynamically similar. However, articular cartilage is thin in eutherian mammals but thick in saurischian(More)
– The first tetrapod fossil from the Rewan Formation of the Galilee Basin, central Queensland, Australia, is identified as Lydekkerina huxleyi, a stereospondyl found elsewhere only in the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of South Africa. Apomorphies shared with L. huxleyi are: anterior palatal vacuity with anterodorsal projections from its posterior margin;(More)
BACKGROUND Several clades of bivalve molluscs have invaded freshwaters at various times throughout Phanerozoic history. The most successful freshwater clade in the modern world is the Unionoida. Unionoids arose in the Triassic Period, sometime after the major extinction event at the End-Permian boundary and are now widely distributed across all continents(More)
The early evolution of sauropod dinosaurs remains poorly understood, with a paucity of unequivocal sauropod taxa known from the first twenty million years of the Jurassic. Recently, the Early Jurassic of South Africa has yielded an assemblage of dental and post-cranial remains displaying a more apomorphic character suite than any other similarly aged(More)