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Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse
Thealyses suggest that the Equus lineage giving rise to all contemporary horses, zebras and donkeys originated 4.0–4.5 million years before present, twice the conventionally accepted time to the most recent common ancestor of the genus Equus, and supports the contention that Przewalski's horses represent the last surviving wild horse population.
Constraints on the timescale of animal evolutionary history
- M. Benton, P. Donoghue, R. Asher, M. Friedman, T. Near, J. Vinther
- Environmental Science
- 21 March 2015
Calibrations for 88 key nodes across the phylogeny of animals, ranging from the root of Metazoa to the last common ancestor of Homo sapiens, are presented, highlighting the importance of identifying crown (not stem) fossils, levels of confidence in their attribution to the crown, current chronostratigraphic precision, the primacy of the host geological formation and asymmetric confidence intervals.
Cephalopod origin and evolution: A congruent picture emerging from fossils, development and molecules
A growing body of evidence from the fossil record, embryology and Bayesian molecular divergence estimations provides a comprehensive picture of cephalopods' origins and evolution.
Fossil Evidence for Evolution of the Shape and Color of Penguin Feathers
The fossil reveals that key feathering features, including undifferentiated primary wing feathers and broad body contour feather shafts, evolved early in the penguin lineage, and analyses of fossilized color-imparting melanosomes reveal that their dimensions were similar to those of non-penguin avian taxa and that the feathering may have been predominantly gray-brown.
A suspension-feeding anomalocarid from the Early Cambrian
The observations demonstrate that large, nektonic suspension feeders first evolved during the Cambrian explosion, as part of an adaptive radiation of anomalocarids, and indicate the existence of a complex pelagic ecosystem supported by high primary productivity and nutrient flux.
Ordovician faunas of Burgess Shale type
The discovery of numerous diverse soft-bodied assemblages in the Lower and Upper Fezouata Formations (Lower Ordovician) of Morocco are reported, which include a range of remarkable stem-group morphologies normally considered characteristic of the Cambrian.
Plumage Color Patterns of an Extinct Dinosaur
This work has reconstructed the appearance of a theropod dinosaur by mapping features of its well-preserved feathers and comparing them with modern samples from birds, and indicates that the body was gray and dark and the face had rufous speckles.
A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors
- J. Vinther, E. Sperling, D. Briggs, K. Peterson
- Biology, GeographyProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological…
- 7 April 2012
Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors, and the recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophors.
A placozoan affinity for Dickinsonia and the evolution of late Proterozoic metazoan feeding modes
It is hypothesized that the affinities of Dickinsonia lie with the Placozoa (Metazoa), an understudied phylum that is widespread in tropical seas worldwide and discusses the potential evolutionary transitions between the main metazoan feeding modes in the context of the emerging molecular phylogeny.
Direct chemical evidence for eumelanin pigment from the Jurassic period
- Keely E Glass, S. Ito, J. Simon
- Environmental ScienceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 21 May 2012
Direct chemical techniques are applied to categorically demonstrate the preservation of eumelanin in two > 160 Ma Jurassic cephalopod ink sacs and to confirm its chemical similarity to the ink of the modern cepHalopod, Sepia officinalis.