Advances in Palaeontology—Feature Papers to Celebrate the Inaugural Issue of Fossil Studies

A special issue of Fossil Studies (ISSN 2813-6284).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2024 | Viewed by 42660

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
CNRS (UMR 8538), Laboratoire de Géologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 Rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris, CEDEX 05, France
Interests: vertebrate palaeontology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Co-Guest Editor
1. State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
2. Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Sciences II, Lebanese University, Fanar P.O. Box 26110217, Matn, Lebanon
Interests: palaeoentomology; entomology; evolution; palaeontology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that we announce a new journal, Fossil Studies, which aims to cover all scientific aspects of palaeontology. It publishes original research papers, review papers and communications regarding all groups of fossil organisms from all time periods, from the earliest living beings to the Holocene. We aim to encourage all kinds of palaeontological publications, from short announcements of significant discoveries to longer descriptions and reviews, as well as papers of a more theoretical nature or discussing new approaches and techniques (see «About Fossils» on the journal website: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/fossstud/about). In this context, in order to celebrate the beginning of Fossil Studies, we are pleased to announce this Special Issue (SI), which will cover a broad range of topics, like the journal itself. Papers announcing new significant palaeontological discoveries and review articles on relevant topics are especially encouraged, regardless of the group of organisms involved or the approach to be discussed.

Dr. Eric Buffetaut
Prof. Dr. Dany Azar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fossil Studies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1420 KiB  
Article
The Diet of Metriorhynchus (Thalattosuchia, Metriorhynchidae): Additional Discoveries and Paleoecological Implications
by Stéphane Hua, Jeff Liston and Jérôme Tabouelle
Foss. Stud. 2024, 2(1), 66-76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fossils2010002 - 20 Feb 2024
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Abstract
A new metriorhynchid specimen with stomach contents is described here. Assigned to Metriorhynchus cf. superciliosus., this specimen has a clear longirostrine form as indicated by its gracile and elongated mandibular rami. This is the second example of gastric contents described for Metriorhynchidae. [...] Read more.
A new metriorhynchid specimen with stomach contents is described here. Assigned to Metriorhynchus cf. superciliosus., this specimen has a clear longirostrine form as indicated by its gracile and elongated mandibular rami. This is the second example of gastric contents described for Metriorhynchidae. This specimen’s preservation allows the identification of the gill apparatus remains of Leedsichthys, the giant suspension-feeding osteichthyan from the Jurassic, including its gill rakers. The gastric contents also contain remains of invertebrates. This specimen indicates that Leedsichthys was not the direct prey of these crocodiles but more that its body was scavenged by them. Longirostrine metriorhynchids were piscivorous but also opportunistic and may have had more of a scavenging component in their lifestyle than previously understood, as all discovered fossils point in this direction. Full article
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65 pages, 31933 KiB  
Article
Taxonomic Status of Nanotyrannus lancensis (Dinosauria: Tyrannosauroidea)—A Distinct Taxon of Small-Bodied Tyrannosaur
by Nicholas R. Longrich and Evan T. Saitta
Foss. Stud. 2024, 2(1), 1-65; https://doi.org/10.3390/fossils2010001 - 3 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 32715
Abstract
Tyrannosaurs are among the most intensively studied and best-known dinosaurs. Despite this, their relationships and systematics are highly controversial. An ongoing debate concerns the validity of Nanotyrannus lancensis, interpreted either as a distinct genus of small-bodied tyrannosaur or a juvenile of Tyrannosaurus [...] Read more.
Tyrannosaurs are among the most intensively studied and best-known dinosaurs. Despite this, their relationships and systematics are highly controversial. An ongoing debate concerns the validity of Nanotyrannus lancensis, interpreted either as a distinct genus of small-bodied tyrannosaur or a juvenile of Tyrannosaurus rex. We examine multiple lines of evidence and show that the evidence strongly supports recognition of Nanotyrannus as a distinct species for the following reasons: 1. High diversity of tyrannosaurs and predatory dinosaurs supports the idea that multiple tyrannosaurids inhabited the late Maastrichtian of Laramidia; 2. Nanotyrannus lacks characters supporting referral to Tyrannosaurus or Tyrannosaurinae but differs from T. rex in >150 morphological characters, while intermediate forms combining the features of Nanotyrannus and T. rex are unknown; 3. Histology shows specimens of Nanotyrannus showing (i) skeletal fusions, (ii) mature skull bone textures, (iii) slow growth rates relative to T. rex, (iv) decelerating growth in their final years of life, and (v) growth curves predicting adult masses of ~1500 kg or less, showing these animals are subadults and young adults, not juvenile Tyrannosaurus; 4. growth series of other tyrannosaurids, including Tarbosaurus and Gorgosaurus, do not show morphological changes proposed for a Nanotyrannus–Tyrannosaurus growth series, and deriving Tyrannosaurus from Nanotyrannus requires several changes inconsistent with known patterns of dinosaur development; 5. Juvenile T. rex exist, showing diagnostic features of Tyrannosaurus; 6. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Nanotyrannus may lie outside Tyrannosauridae. Tyrannosaur diversity before the K-Pg extinction is higher than previously appreciated. The challenges inherent in diagnosing species based on fossils mean paleontologists may be systematically underestimating the diversity of ancient ecosystems. Full article
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11 pages, 19732 KiB  
Article
The First Dinosaur from the Kingdom of Cambodia: A Sauropod Fibula from the Lower Cretaceous of Koh Kong Province, South-Western Cambodia
by Vanchan Lim, Eric Buffetaut, Haiyan Tong, Lionel Cavin, Kimchhay Pann and Phalline Polypheakdey Ngoeun
Foss. Stud. 2023, 1(1), 49-59; https://doi.org/10.3390/fossils1010006 - 2 Nov 2023
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Abstract
The first discovery of a dinosaur bone from the Kingdom of Cambodia is reported in this paper. It consists of a sauropod fibula from a sandstone layer on Koh Paur island, in Koh Kong province, in south-western Cambodia. The dinosaur-bearing bed belongs to [...] Read more.
The first discovery of a dinosaur bone from the Kingdom of Cambodia is reported in this paper. It consists of a sauropod fibula from a sandstone layer on Koh Paur island, in Koh Kong province, in south-western Cambodia. The dinosaur-bearing bed belongs to the non-marine Grès Supérieurs series and is apparently of Early Cretaceous age. On the basis of various characters, notably the development of the anteromedial crest, the dinosaur fibula from Koh Paur is referred to a euhelopodid titanosauriform. This first dinosaur discovery in Cambodia suggests that the thick non-marine formations which cover vast areas in the south-western part of the country are potentially an important source of continental Mesozoic vertebrates. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 1676 KiB  
Review
The Wasps (Hymenoptera) from Lower Cretaceous Lebanese and Spanish Ambers
by Sergio Álvarez-Parra and Dany Azar
Foss. Stud. 2024, 2(2), 110-122; https://doi.org/10.3390/fossils2020005 - 5 Jun 2024
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Abstract
Hymenoptera is the fourth-most diverse insect order today, including wasps, bees, bumblebees, and ants. They show a wide panoply of modes of life, such as herbivory, predation, parasitoidism, pollination, and eusociality. This group also includes a great number of extinct species from both [...] Read more.
Hymenoptera is the fourth-most diverse insect order today, including wasps, bees, bumblebees, and ants. They show a wide panoply of modes of life, such as herbivory, predation, parasitoidism, pollination, and eusociality. This group also includes a great number of extinct species from both amber and compression outcrops. Hymenopterans probably originated in the Paleozoic, although their oldest record is from the Middle or Late Triassic, and their diversity expanded since the Cretaceous. Here, we present a review of the Hymenoptera in Lower Cretaceous ambers from Lebanon (Barremian) and Spain (Albian), which is pivotal for the study of hymenopteran evolution. Hymenoptera in Lebanese ambers are represented by 32 species in 22 genera within 15 families, while in Spanish ambers, they correspond to 49 species in 40 genera within 18 families. Most of these species belong to the ‘Parasitica’, and only a few species have been assigned to the Aculeata. The group ‘Symphyta’ is represented by one species in Spanish amber. The paleobiogeography and possible paleobiologies of the species in these ambers are reviewed. Furthermore, checklists for all Hymenoptera species in Lebanese and Spanish ambers are provided. Full article
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