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Evolutionary Origin of the Turtle Shell
TLDR
A model of shell assembly that makes predictions for the as-yet unestablished history of the turtle stem group is built on by integrating novel data for Eunotosaurus africanus, which is congruent with molecular-based divergence estimates for the lineage, and remains viable whether turtles originated inside or outside crown Diapsida.
A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America
TLDR
Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Anzu is most closely related to Caenagnathus collinsi, a taxon that is definitively known only from a mandible from the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, and the problematic oviraptorosaurs Microvenator and Gigantoraptor are recovered as basal caenagnaths, as has previously been suggested.
A Divergence Dating Analysis of Turtles Using Fossil Calibrations: An Example of Best Practices
TLDR
This work provides the first explicitly justified minimum and soft maximum age constraints on 22 clades of turtles following best practice protocols and generates novel age-of-origination estimates for clades within crown Testudines.
MicroRNAs support a turtle + lizard clade
TLDR
A novel molecular dataset, the presence versus absence of specific microRNAs, is applied to the problem of the phylogenetic position of turtles and the root of the reptilian tree, and it is found that this dataset unambiguously supports a turtle + lepidosaur group.
Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles
TLDR
This work reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard–tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the ‘parareptile’ Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida.
Fossorial Origin of the Turtle Shell
TLDR
The adaptations related to fossoriality likely facilitated movement of stem turtles into aquatic environments early in the groups' evolutionary history, and this ecology may have played an important role in stem turtles surviving the Permian/Triassic extinction event.
Cranial Anatomy and Phylogenetic Placement of the Enigmatic Turtle Compsemys victa Leidy, 1856
TLDR
Taphonomic evidence reveals that basal paracryptodires, including C. victa, preferred slow moving or ponded water environments, and the riverine habitat preference of baenodds must therefore be derived.
A Revision of Plesiobaena (Testudines: Baenidae) and an Assessment of Baenid Ecology Across the K/T Boundary
TLDR
The phylogenetic analysis clearly reveals that Plesiobaena in the traditional sense is a paraphyletic assemblage relative to the clade formed by Gamerabaena sonsalla and Palatobaena spp.
A New Species of Palatobaena (Testudines: Baenidae) and a Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Phylogenetic Analysis of Baenidae
TLDR
The baenid topology reveals a demonstrably homoplastic trend towards the reduction of the temporal emargination and unique thickening of the posterior portion of the parietals that corresponds with the K/T boundary and is hypothesized to have provided limited protection from increasingly effective mammalian predators.
Early Evolution of Modern Birds Structured by Global Forest Collapse at the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction
TLDR
This work suggests that ecological filtering due to the temporary loss of significant plant cover across the K-Pg boundary selected against any flying dinosaurs committed to arboreal ecologies, resulting in a predominantly non-arboreal post-extinction neornithine avifauna.
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