Biased reptilian palaeothermometer?

  title={Biased reptilian palaeothermometer?},
  author={J. M. Kale Sniderman},
  • J. Sniderman
  • Published 30 July 2009
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Nature
Arising from: J. J. Head et al. 457, 715–717 (2009)10.1038/nature07671; Head et al. replyPalaeotemperatures can be estimated from characteristics of fossils if their living relatives represent the full evolutionary potential of the larger taxon to which the fossil belongs. By drawing on observations that the body size of poikilotherms decreases globally with ambient temperature, Head et al. used the 13 m length of the newly described fossil boid Titanoboa cerrejonensis to estimate that the… 
Re-calibrating the snake palaeothermometer
Arising from: J. J. Head et al. 457, 715–717 (2009)10.1038/nature07671; Head et al. replyIn a recent study a new proxy for palaeoclimate reconstructions was proposed on the basis of a theoretical
A new Eocaiman (Alligatoridae, Crocodylia) from the Itaboraí Basin, Paleogene of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The new taxon has a relatively small body size in comparison with other species of Eocaiman, a case paralleled by other Itaboraian reptilian groups (e.g. snakes), suggesting that this ecosystem provides critical data to test the relationship between reptilian body size and climate.
Head et al. reply
Replying to: J. M. K. Sniderman 460, 10.1038/nature08222 (2009); A. M. Makarieva, V. G. Gorshkov & B.-L. Li 460, 10.1038/nature08223 (2009); M. W. Denny, B. L. Lockwood & G. N. Somero 460,


Giant boid snake from the Palaeocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures
Depositional environments and faunal composition of the Cerrejón Formation indicate an anaconda-like ecology for the giant snake, and an earliest Cenozoic origin of neotropical vertebrate faunas.
A giant frog with South American affinities from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar
A recently discovered Late Cretaceous anuran is described that differs strikingly in size and morphology from extant Malagasy taxa and is unrelated either to them or to the predicted occupants of the Madagascar–Seychelles–India landmass when it separated from Africa 160 million years ago (Mya).
A review of terrestrial mammalian and reptilian carnivore ecology in Australian fossil faunas, and factors influencing their diversity: the myth of reptilian domination and its broader ramifications
  • S. Wroe
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2002
The accelerating pace of discovery of new large mammalian carnivore species has undermined any prima facie case for reptilian supremacy regarding pre-Pleistocene Australia, and available data expose the uncommon and geographically restricted large contemporaneous reptiles as bit players.
Neurocranial osteology and systematic relationships of Varanus (Megalania) prisca Owen, 1859 (Squamata: Varanidae)
A monophyletic clade of giant monitors among Indo-Australian species, and unambiguously synonymize Megalania with Varanus at both generic and subgeneric levels is supported.
Temperature-associated upper limits to body size in terrestrial poikilotherms
We show that the largest tropical species of terrestrial poikilotherms from 25 taxa exceed, in linear body size, the largest representatives of the same taxa from the temperate (e.g. Great Britain)
Environment and evolution through the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum.
  • P. Gingerich
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 2006
New Ages for the Last Australian Megafauna: Continent-Wide Extinction About 46,000 Years Ago
This work reports burial ages for megafauna from 28 sites and infer extinction across the continent around 46,400 years ago, ruling out extreme aridity at the Last Glacial Maximum as the cause of extinction, but not other climatic impacts; a "blitzkrieg" model of human-induced extinction; or an extended period of anthropogenic ecosystem disruption.
Tertiary giant lacewings (Neuroptera: Polystoechotidae): Revision and description of new taxa from western north America and Denmark
Polystoechotidae in the Eocene, as today, appear to have ranged in forested regions of microthermal to lower mesothermal climate, and taphonomic factors such as the presence of mat‐forming organisms may have enhanced their fossil representation to greater than their community representation.
A note on metabolic rate dependence on body size in plants and animals.
The agreement about the ubiquity of a1⁄4 3/4 in the living world has recently been seriously challenged by extensive analyses of data unavailable at the time of adopting the ‘‘3/4 rule’’.
Gigantism, temperature and metabolic rate in terrestrial poikilotherms
It is found that poikilothermic giants on land become two–three times shorter per each 10 degrees of decrease in ambient temperature, which supports the idea that the upper limit to body size within each taxon can be set by a temperature-independent critical minimum value of mass-specific metabolic rate.