Sunday, August 25, 2019

[PaleoMammalogy • 2019] Casatia thermophila • A New Monodontidae (Cetacea, Delphinoidea) from the lower Pliocene of Italy Supports A Warm-water Origin for Narwhals and White Whales

Casatia thermophila
Bianucci, Pesci, Collareta & Tinelli, 2019

Illustration: A. Gennari.

A new taxon of monodontid cetacean, Casatia thermophila, gen. et sp. nov., is here described on the basis of a partial skull from lower Pliocene (5.1–4.5 Ma) marginal-marine deposits of Tuscany (central Italy). This new taxon belongs to Monodontidae based on the presence of a medial exposure of the maxillae anterior and lateral to the external bony nares; it mainly differs from all other named monodontids by the presence of a median depression of the premaxillae anterior to the premaxillary sac fossae and by a medial margin of the premaxillary-maxillary suture that does not parallel the anterolateral profile of the external bony nares. Our phylogenetic analysis, the first including all taxa of Monodontidae, recovers Casatia as a crown monodontid, more closely related to Delphinapterus than to Monodon and sister group of an unnamed taxon from the North Sea. The holotype of Casatia represents the first and only fossil monodontid from the Mediterranean Basin. Taking its place beside abundant fossils of strongly thermophilic marine vertebrates, such as the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, and the extinct sirenian Metaxytherium subapenninumCasatia thermophila represents the strongest evidence supporting the hypothesis that monodontids once thrived in low-latitude, warm-water habitats. On the basis of our phylogenetic reconstruction, early relatives of the extant monodontids might have adapted independently to the high-latitude, cold-water environments they currently master. The definitive disappearance of the Neogene thermophilic monodontids could be attributed to the cooling episode that accompanied the onset of long-term Northern Hemisphere glaciation around 3 Ma.

Life reconstruction of Casatia thermophila, gen. et sp. nov., swimming in the coastal waters off present-day Tuscany in early Pliocene times (5.1–4.5 Ma). Behind the cetacean, two individuals of the sirenian Metaxytherium subapenninum are approaching the shallow sea floor, likely attracted by the presence of abundant seagrasses. The coexistence of monodontids (C. thermophila) and sea cows (M. subapenninum) in the warm marginalmarine waters of the central Mediterranean Basin during the early Pliocene reflects the composition of the fossil vertebrate assemblage from Arcille, where a sirenian specimen was collected from the same horizon as the holotype of C. thermophila.
Illustration: A. Gennari

CETACEA Brisson, 1762
ODONTOCETI Flower, 1867

CASATIA, gen. nov.

Type and Only Known Species— Casatia thermophila, sp. nov.

Etymology— The genus name honors Simone Casati, prominent amateur paleontologist who discovered most of the fossil vertebrates from Arcille (the locality where the holotype of Casatia thermophila was found) and author of several academic and popularizing works on the Pliocene marine vertebrates of Tuscany (Casati, 2007; Bianucci et al., 2009; Cigala-Fulgosi et al., 2009; Oddone et al., 2009; Casati and Oddone, 2011; Collareta et al., 2017, 2018).


Etymology— The species name is from the Greek ‘thermós’ (= hot) and ‘philos’ (= loving), considering the warm-water habits of this extinct cetacean.

Map of the Northern Hemisphere showing the distribution of extant Delphinapterus (pink area) and congeneric Quaternary fossils (pink squares), extant Monodon (blue area) and congeneric Quaternary fossils (blue squares), and the extinct Casatia (arrow) and other Neogene monodontid genera (green squares).

Giovanni Bianucci, Fabio Pesci, Alberto Collareta and Chiara Tinelli. 2019. A New Monodontidae (Cetacea, Delphinoidea) from the lower Pliocene of Italy Supports A Warm-water Origin for Narwhals and White Whales. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.  DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2019.1645148 



[Botany • 2019] Euphorbia rimireptans (Euphorbiaceae, Articulofruticosae) • A New Species from the Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Euphorbia rimireptans Swanepoel, R.W.Becker & Alma Möller

in Swanepoel, Becker, Mӧller & de Cauwer, 2019. 

Euphorbia rimireptans, here described as a new species, is known only from the northern part of the Skeleton Coast (part of the Namib Desert) in the Kaokoveld Centre of Endemism, northwestern Namibia. These perennial shrublets grow on rocky outcrops of latite under harsh desert conditions. Diagnostic characters for E. rimireptans include the procumbent, sometimes pendant habit, the soft, rubber-like terete or slightly tapering branches that are curved or ± straight, frequently orientated in the same direction from the base, and the glabrous or sparsely hairy capsule, which releases verrucose ovoid seeds. A comparison of some of the more prominent morphological features to differentiate between E. rimireptans and its possible nearest relative, E. giessii, is provided. 

Keywords: endemism, flora, Kaokoveld Centre of Endemism, latite, Namib Desert, taxonomy

FIGURE 2. Euphorbia rimireptans. A. Staminate cyathia. B. Pistillate cyathia, in different stages of development. C. Capsule. D. Inflorescences, staminate plant. Photographs by W. Swanepoel.

FIGURE 1. Habit of Euphorbia rimireptans. A. Pendant. B. Procumbent, all branches orientated in one direction, showing grey base. C. Procumbent, branches intertwined. Photographs by W. Swanepoel.

FIGURE 4. Euphorbia rimireptans plant (foreground, centre) in its natural habitat. Photograph by W. Swanepoel.

Euphorbia rimireptans Swanepoel, R.W.Becker & Alma Möller sp. nov. 

Diagnosis:— Succulent shrublet up to 0.5 m in its greatest diam., similar to E. giessii, from which it differs in being procumbent, sometimes pendant (vs. erect, up to 0.8 m high); branches, shorter and thinner (up to 0.5 m long, 2.8–6.0 mm diam.), soft, rubber-like, terete or only slightly tapering [vs. longer and thicker (up to 0.8 m long, 4–12 mm diam.), rigid, firm, tapering]; leaf lamina not panduriform, of uniform thickness, glabrous (vs. somewhat panduriform, thickened towards apex, densely hairy at base adaxially); bracts dissimilar to the leaves, hairy adaxially at base only, otherwise glabrous (vs. bracts similar to the leaves, hairy adaxially); gland shape mostly variable on each involucre, oblong, oblong-elliptic, elliptic, reniform, ovate or flabellate (vs. gland shape uniform on each involucre, oblongelliptic, elliptic or sub-circular); staminate flowers with filaments glabrous, shorter (0.4–0.8 mm long), anther theca pale yellow [vs. filaments glabrous or with long hairs, longer (0.9–1.2 mm long), anther theca pale green]; capsule glabrous or sparsely hairy, rarely dotted, pedicel ± 0.6 mm diam. (vs. sparsely to densely hairy, seldom glabrous, conspicuously dotted, pedicel ± 1.1 mm diam.); seed verrucose.

Etymology:— The specific epithet is derived from Latin and refers to the habit of Euphorbia rimireptans: ‘rimireptans’ = creeping from rock fissures.

FIGURE 3. Euphorbia rimireptans plant that was pressed as the type specimen, showing subtuberous root. Photograph by W. Swanepoel.

Wessel Swanepoel, Rolf W. Becker, Alma Mӧller and Vera de Cauwer. 2019. Euphorbia rimireptans (Euphorbiaceae, Articulofruticosae), A New Species from the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. Phytotaxa. 414(4); 165–173. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.414.4.2


[Herpetology • 2019] Bothrops monsignifer • A New Species of Pitviper of the Genus Bothrops (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from the Central Andes of South America

Bothrops monsignifer
Timms, Chaparro, Venegas, Salazar-Valenzuela, Scrocchi, Cuevas, Leynaud & Carrasco, 2019

We describe a new species of montane pitviper of the genus Bothrops from the Cordillera Oriental of the Central Andes, distributed from southern Peru to central Bolivia. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by the characteristic combination of a dorsal body color pattern consisting of triangular or subtriangular dark brown dorsal blotches, paired dark brown parallel occipital stripes, a conspicuous dark brown postocular stripe, the presence of canthorostrals in some specimens, prelacunal fused or partially fused with second supralabial, one scale usually separating internasals, rostral trapezoidal, two canthals oval to rounded, similar size or slightly larger than internasals, three or four medial intercanthals, eight to twelve intersupraoculars, intercanthals and intersupraoculars keeled and frequently slightly keeled, supraoculars oval, one to three suboculars, two to three postoculars, loreal subtriangular, two to six prefoveals, subfoveals absent, two or none postfoveals, one or two scales between suboculars and fourth supralabial, seven or eight supralabials, nine or eleven infralabials, 23–25 middorsal scales, 189–195 ventrals in females and 182–190 in males, 48–58 subcaudals in females and 54–63 in males, exceptionally undivided. The new species is apparently restricted to areas within Andean montane forests that are less humid and devoid of large trees.

Keywords: Reptilia, Andes, Bolivia, morphology, Peru, phylogeny, pitviper species

First specimen of the new species photographed in Bolivia (Refugio Los Volcanes, department of Santa Cruz).
Photo by W. Guzmán.

Bothrops monsignifer sp. nov.  

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the Latin (noun) by the union of “mons” (=montane) + “ignifer” (=flame, fire or flash), meaning fire mountain or volcano, in allusion to the location where the first Bolivian specimen was photographed (Refugio Los Volcanes, department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia).

 Juan Timms, Juan C. Chaparro, Pablo J. Venegas, David Salazar-Valenzuela, Gustavo J. Scrocchi, Jairo Cuevas, Gerardo C. Leynaud and Paola A. Carrasco. 2019. A New Species of Pitviper of the Genus Bothrops (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from the Central Andes of South America. Zootaxa. 4656(1); 99–120. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4656.1.4

[Botany • 2019] Sapria myanmarensis • A New Species and A Newly Recorded Taxon of the Genus Sapria (Rafflesiaceae) [Contributions to the Flora of Myanmar IV]

Sapria myanmarensis Nob. Tanaka, Nagam., Tagane & M.M. Aung

in Tanaka, Nagamasu, Tagane, et al., 2019. 

In the course of our intensive floristic inventories for the flora of Myanmar, a new species of the genus Sapria (Rafflesiaceae), Sapria myanmarensis Nob. Tanaka, Nagam, Tagane & M.M. Aung is described and photographed. In addition, S. himalayana Griff. f. albovinosa Bänziger & B. Hansen is newly recorded in the country. A key to the species of Sapria presently occurring in Myanmar is provided.

Keyword: Burma, Inventory, Myanmar, Parasitic plant, Rafflesiaceae, Sapria myanmarensis, Sapria himalayana f. albovinosa

Fig. 1. Sapria myanmarensis (female flower) from the type locality (Mu Mu Aung & Aung Khaing Win MY3336) A: Fully opened flower. B: Side view of flower. C: Longitudinal section of a flower attached to a Tetrastigma root. D: Upper surface of disk and ramenta on collar. E: Inner surface of perigone tube.
 Scales: 3 cm for A, B and C; 1 cm for D and E. (Photographs: Mu Mu Aung).

Fig. 2. Sapria myanmarensis (male flower). A: Fully opened flower. B: Flower bud. C: Longitudinal section of flower. D: Central column viewed from the bottom showing stamens. E: Side view of central column and a tangential section of the disk from a flower bud.
Scales: 3 cm for A and B; 1 cm for C, D and E. 
Photographs: A–B, Mu Mu Aung, C–D, Win Nwe (Mu Mu Aung & Win Nwe MM140); E, S. Tagane (Tagane et al. MY1103).

Sapria myanmarensis Nob. Tanaka, Nagam., Tagane & M.M. Aung, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Similar to Sapria himalayana Griff., but it is distinguished from it by a combination of features including vermilion perigone lobes with white-colored warts distributed only basally, a shorter perigone tube (1.5–2 cm vs. 3–4 cm in S. himalayana), a flat central disk (not bowl- or pan-shaped), a greater diameter of the disk crest (4–4.5 cm in diam. vs. 3.5–3.9 cm in diam. in S. himalayana) and crateriform ramenta. 

Distribution: Endemic to Myanmar. Thus far known only from northwestern part (Kachin State and Sagaing Region). 

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the name of the country. 

Vernacular name (Myanmar): Taung Kyar, meaning “mountain lotus flower”.

Fig. 4. Sapria himalayana f. albovinosa (female flower).
A: Side view of flower. B: Fully opened, slightly senescent flower from the top. C: Central column and bowl-shaped disk. D: Inner surface of perigone tube (central column removed).
Scales: 5 cm for A and B; 2 cm for C and D.
 Photographs: N. Tanaka (Tanaka et al. 2813).

Nobuyuki Tanaka, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Shuichiro Tagane, Mu Mu Aung, Aung Khaing Win and Phyu Phyu Hnin. 2019. Contributions to the Flora of Myanmar IV: A New Species and A Newly Recorded Taxon of the Genus Sapria (Rafflesiaceae). Taiwania. 64(4); 357-362. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2019.64.357

[Herpetology • 2019] Pristimantis nelsongalloi • A New Species of Terrestrial-breeding Frog of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Terrarana: Craugastoridae) from the eastern Andean Slopes of the southern Ecuador

Pristimantis nelsongalloi
Valencia, Valladares-Suntasig, Tipantiza-Tuguminago & Dueñas, 2019

A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is described from a montane cloud forest at 9 de Octubre (2°14’52” S, 78°16’37” W; 1778 m) province of Morona Santiago in the upper basin of the Upano River, southeastern Ecuador. The description of the new species is based on the examination of eleven adult males and three adult females. The new taxon can be readily distinguished from other congeneric species that inhabit the eastern Andes of Ecuador by the unique combination of the following characters: small body (adult males SVL 12.0–17.0 mm, adult females SVL 18.5–21.7 mm); skin of dorsum finely shagreen with two subconical scapular tubercles, weak and discontinuous dorsolateral folds in the middle of the back; large tympanum 70–93% of eye diameter; snout subacuminate in dorsal view, rounded in profile; upper eyelid bearing four or five small and flat supraocular tubercles; males lacking vocal slits and nuptial pads; all discs on fingers and toes lanceolate. Additionally, we provide information on the advertisement call and natural history of the new species.

Keywords: Andes, Ecuador, Pristimantis bicantusPristimantis nelsongalloi sp. nov., Craugastoridae, Anura, Amphibia

Pristimantis nelsongalloi sp. nov.

Jorge H. Valencia, Francisco Valladares-Suntasig, Luis Tipantiza-Tuguminago and Manuel R. Dueñas. 2019. A New Species of Terrestrial-breeding Frog of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Terrarana: Craugastoridae) from the eastern Andean Slopes of the southern Ecuador. Zootaxa. 4658(3); 509–525. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4658.3.4

[Botany • 2019] Pseuderia samarana (Orchidaceae: Podochileae, Eriinae) • A New Species and Genus Record from the Philippines

 Pseuderia samarana Z.D. Meneses & Cootes

in Meneses & Cootes, 2019. 

A new species of orchid, Pseuderia samarana Z.D. Meneses & Cootes (Orchidaceae: Podochileae, Eriinae) from Samar Island, Philippines is described and illustrated. This is also a new generic record for the country. It is distinguished from other known species by the combination of the following characters: relatively smaller lanceolate leaves, minutely cuspidate bracts, 2-flowered raceme borne on short peduncle, narrower labellum, and entire clinandrium margins. Notes on its habitat and ecology, distribution, conservation status, and comparison with other closely related New Guinean speciesare also presented.

Keyword: Eriinae, Orchidaceae, Philippines, Podochileae, Pseuderia samarana, Samar Island

Fig. 1. Pseuderia samarana Z.D. Meneses & Cootes.
A: Inflorescences bearing 2 flowers borne on short peduncles B: Habit of Pseuderia samarana C: Fruits.
 Photos A‒B by Zhereeleen D. Meneses, photo C by Jiro T. Adorador. 
A = 1 cm, B = 6 cm, C = 2 cm

Fig. 2. Pseuderia samarana Z.D. Meneses & Cootes
 A: Flowering branch B: Flower at anthesis. Detached floral parts C: Abaxial surface of dorsal sepal D: Abaxial surface of lateral sepal E: abaxial surface of Lateral petal F: Labellum side view, showing adaxial surface G: Abaxial surface of labellum H: Column side view I: Column, front view.
Drawn from the holotype (Z.D. Meneses 213). 
Scale bar: A = 6 cm, B = 0.8 cm, C‒I = 1 cm. Drawn by Jiro T. Adorador.

Pseuderia samarana Z.D. Meneses & Cootes, sp. nov.

Diagnosis. Pseuderia samarana shares similarity with both P. frutex and P. floribunda but the new species significantly differs in its 2-flowered inflorescence (vs. 3‒ 5-flowered in other two species), much narrower labellum (2.5 mm wide vs. 4.5‒5 mm) and entire clinandrium margins (vs. serrulate in P. frutex and dentate in P. floribunda).  

Etymology. This new orchid species is named after the type province, Samar. The province forms a large partion of the Samar Island Natural Park. It has several rolling limestone formations which supports a distinct forest type. Samar also houses the headquarters of the park’s Protected Area Management Board which is the governing and managing office of the natural park

Zhereeleen D. Meneses and James Edward Cootes. 2019. Pseuderia samarana (Orchidaceae), A New Species and Genus Record from the Philippines. Taiwania. 64(4); 353-356. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2019.64.353 

In Samar, there’s a new orchid on the block via @inquirerdotnet


Friday, August 23, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] New Species of Lepidodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from New Guinea and Adjacent Islands; Lepidodactylus aignanus, L. zweifeli, L. mitchelli, L. kwasnickae & L. dialeukos

Lepidodactylus kwasnickae
Kraus, 2019

I describe five new species of Lepidodactylus from New Guinea or adjacent islands that are members of Brown & Parker’s (1977) phenetic Groups I and II and belong to the clades identified as the L. orientalis, L. pumilus, and L. novaeguineae groups of Oliver et al. (2018a). One of the new species is restricted to an isolated mountain range on New Guinea; the remainder inhabit offshore islands ranging from 3–250 km from New Guinea. These species are distinguished from their congeners primarily by unique combinations of toe lamellar numbers and shape, numbers and distribution of enlarged precloacal/femoral scales and pores, toe webbing, toe width, and color pattern. These clades are ancient, and the ancestor of one of them has been on the East Papuan Composite Terrane for at least 28 MY, highlighting the long-term importance of that former large island in generating regional biodiversity. At least one, and probably three, of the new species are inhabitants of forest interiors; one occupies disturbed coastal areas; and the habitat of the last is currently unsurmisable. All of the new species likely have restricted geographic distributions, with four of them being limited to one or a few small islands. As a result of their small ranges, rapid habitat conversion in the ranges of some of these species, and the threat of further habitat loss in the others, most of these species are of conservation concern although it is uncertain if any of them is under immediate threat.

Keywords: Reptilia, Adelbert Mts, East Papuan Composite Terrane, Misima, Woodlark, Yapen

Lepidodactylus aignanus sp. nov.

Etymology. The name is a masculine adjective referring to the type locality of Misima Island, whose former name was St. Aignan Island. 

Lepidodactylus zweifeli sp. nov. 

Etymology. The name is a genitive honorific for the collector, Richard Zweifel, whose contributions to knowledge of the herpetofauna of New Guinea and nearby islands were foundational to current understanding.

Lepidodactylus mitchelli sp. nov. 

Etymology. The name is a genitive honorific for my friend, David Mitchell, who has directed a series of conservation organizations in Milne Bay Province for many years, frequently provided logistical support to my expeditions in that same province, and helped collect part of the type series.

Holotype of Lepidodactylus kwasnickae sp. nov. (BPBM 39880).

Lepidodactylus kwasnickae sp. nov. 

Etymology. The name is a genitive honorific for my friend Gretta Kwasnicka who has long provided gracious hospitality and support for my fieldwork in Milne Bay Province.

Lepidodactylus dialeukos sp. nov. 

Etymology. The name is a masculine possessive Greek adjective meaning marked with white. The name is in reference to the numerous narrow white markings that typify this species.

Fred Kraus. 2019. New Species of Lepidodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from New Guinea and Adjacent Islands. Zootaxa. 4651(2); 305–329. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4651.2.7  
Logging, mining companies lock eyes on a biodiverse island like no other @Mongabay

Thursday, August 22, 2019

[Paleontology • 2019] Vallibonavenatrix cani • A New Spinosaurid Theropod (Dinosauria: Megalosauroidea) from the late Barremian of Vallibona, Spain: Implications for Spinosaurid Diversity in the Early Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula

 Vallibonavenatrix cani
Malafaia, Gasulla, Escaso, Narváez, Sanz & Ortega, 2019 
Reconstruction: José Antonio Peñas 

A new medium-sized theropod dinosaur from the Arcillas de Morella Formation (upper Barremian) in Vallibona (Castellón, Spain) is described based on a partial skeleton. Vallibonavenatrix cani, gen. et sp. nov., is diagnosed by five autapomorphies: moderately high dorsal neural spines relative to the centrum height, the presence of deep pleurocoelous fossae and pneumatic foramina in the sacral vertebrae, a strongly pneumatic ilium with large internal cameras, the presence of a broad and flat platform on the ventromedial surface of the postacetabular blade of the ilium, and the strong ventral torsion of the ischium diaphysis. Phylogenetic analysis recovered Vallibonavenatrix cani as a spinosaurid megalosauroid and revealed that the new Iberian form is more closely related to Gondwanan spinosaurines, such as Spinosaurus, Irritator or Angaturama and the Asian taxon Ichthyovenator than it is to its synchronic contemporary European taxon Baryonyx walkeri. The Gondwanan or Asian affinities of Vallibonavenatrix indicate a complex palaeobiogeographic pattern and may be interpreted simultaneously as evidence for contact between Europe and North Africa and between Europe and Asia before the Aptian. This specimen is currently the most complete evidence of a spinosaurid theropod known in the fossil record of the Iberian Peninsula.

Keywords: Vallibonavenatrix, Spinosauridae, Early Cretaceous, Iberian Peninsula, Arcillas de Morella Formation

Figure 3. Mid and posterior dorsal vertebrae of Vallibonavenatrix in anterior (A, E, I), left lateral (B, F, J), posterior (C, G, K), and ventral (D, H, L) views.
Abbreviations: asl, accessory lamina; cdf, centrodiapophyseal fossa; hy, hyposphene; nc, neural canal; ncs, neurocentral suture; ns, neural spine; pcd, pleurocentral depression; pcdl, posterior centrodiapophyseal lamina; pocdf, postzygapophyseal centrodiapophyseal fossa; poz, postzygapophysis; pp, parapophysis; ppdl, paradiapophyseal lamina; prcdf, prezygapophyseal centrodiapophyseal fossa; prdl, prezygodiapophyseal lamina; prz, prezygapophysis; spof, spinopostzygapophyseal fossa; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; tp, transverse process; vg, ventral groove; vr, ventral ridge.

Figure 1. Geographic location of the locality of Vallibona (Castellón province, Spain) where the material of the holotype of Vallibonavenatrix was found.

Reconstruction: José Antonio Peñas 

Systematic Paleontology

Dinosauria Owen, 1842.
Theropoda Marsh, 1881.
Megalosauroidea (Fitzinger, 1843)
Spinosauridae Stromer, 1915.

Vallibonavenatrix gen. nov.

Etymology. Vallibona-, as the town where the holotype specimen was found, and -venatrix, as the Latin for huntress.

Vallibonavenatrix cani sp. nov.

Etymology. The species epithet honours Juan Cano Forner, who found the holotype specimen.

Type locality and type horizon. The specimen was collected in the locality of Santa Águeda, near the town of Vallibona (Castellón province, Spain). The sediments that contained the fossils belong to the Arcillas de Morella Fm., late Barremian in age (Bover-Arnal et al., 2016).


Figure 11. Time-calibrated reduced consensus tree from phylogenetic analysis after pruning Xuanhanosaurus. Capitalized terminal clades have been summarized, but are fully shown in a version of this tree in Table 5 of the Supplementary material. Note that Vallibonavenatrix is nested within “Spinosaurinae”, which is highlighted by a violet box.

 Elisabete Malafaia, José Miguel Gasulla, Fernando Escaso, Iván Narváez, José Luis Sanz and Francisco Ortega. 2019. A New Spinosaurid Theropod (Dinosauria: Megalosauroidea) from the late Barremian of Vallibona, Spain: Implications for Spinosaurid Diversity in the Early Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula. Cretaceous Research. In Press.  DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2019.104221
#Vallibonavenatrix #dinossáurio #terópode #espinossaurídeo #Cretácico #Castellón

[Ichthyology • 2019] Leptopanchax sanguineus • A New Species of Cynopoeciline Killifish (Cyprinodontiformes, Aplocheilidae), possibly Extinct, from the Atlantic Forest of south-eastern Brazil

Leptopanchax sanguineus  
Costa, 2019

Specimens found between 1985 and 1988 in the Magé River Basin, south-eastern Brazil were misidentified as L. splendens. The recent rediscovery of other specimens in the Estrela River Basin near the type locality of L. splendens has clarified the species’ concept, making it possible to recognise the Magé River Basin specimens as a new species. The new species is herein described as Leptopanchax sanguineus sp. nov. and is distinguished from all other cynopoecilines by a unique colour pattern in males, including red bars with sinuous margins. It was collected in a well-preserved, temporary shallow swampy area within dense moist forest, but since 1990 the species has not been found again. Leptopanchax sanguineus sp. nov. is one of three species of cynopoeciline killifishes living in lowland moist forests of the coastal plains of Rio de Janeiro State, where the greatest diversity of endemic cynopoecilines is concentrated. Each of these species has been recorded a single time in the last 30 years, a surprisingly low record attributable to intense deforestation during the last several decades resulting in small fragmented lowland moist forests of today. This study indicates that seasonal killifishes adapted to uniquely live in this kind of habitat should be regarded with special concern in studies evaluating conservation priorities.

Keywords: Biodiversity, conservation, moist tropical forest, systematics, taxonomy

Figure 2. Male fin morphology and life colour patterns in Leptopanchax.
A coloured pencil drawing illustrating Leptopanchax sanguineus sp. nov. in life, about 20 mm SL B L. splendens, UFRJ 6902, 22.7 mm SL
C L. aureoguttatus, UFRJ 6331, 22.3 mm SL D L. itanhaensis, UFRJ 6453, 20.7 mm SL
E L. citrinipinnis, UFRJ 8899, 20.6 mm SL F L. opalescens, UFRJ 8986, 20.2 mm SL.

Leptopanchax sanguineus sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Leptopanchax sanguineus differs from other cynopoecilines, except L. splendens, by the presence of red bars on the whole flank in males (vs. absence); uniquely in L. sanguineus, the bars are broad, wider than the interspace width (vs. narrow, half interspace width or less) and have sinuous margins (vs. straight). Leptopanchax sanguineus is further distinguished from L. splendens by having 15 dorsal-fin rays (vs. 12–14), 6 pelvic-fin rays (vs. 5), 27 scales on the longitudinal series and 9 on the transverse series (vs. 24–25 and 7, respectively), 29 vertebrae (vs. 26–27), pelvic fin tip posteriorly reaching the anal fin in males (vs. reaching urogenital papilla), pelvic-fin bases medially separated, in close proximity (vs. medially united), absence of filamentous rays on the caudal fin (vs. short filamentous rays on the posterior margin of the caudal fin in males), presence of a golden stripe on the distal margin of the dorsal fin in males (vs. white stripe), absence of contact organs on the male pectoral fin (vs. presence) and absence of the dermosphenotic bone (vs. presence). Leptopanchax sanguineus also differs from L. splendens and all other cynopoecilines by the presence of a small red spot on the posterior portion of the iris (vs. spot absent).

Etymology: The name sanguineus, from the Latin, meaning blood-coloured, is an allusion to the predominantly red colouration in males, unique among Neotropical killifishes.

Figure 4. Habitat of Leptopanchax sanguineus sp. nov. in 1988.

 Wilson J. E. M. Costa. 2019. Description of A New Species of Cynopoeciline Killifish (Cyprinodontiformes, Aplocheilidae), possibly Extinct, from the Atlantic Forest of south-eastern Brazil.  ZooKeys. 867: 73-85. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.867.34034

Abstract: A recent collection of the seasonal killifish found Leptopanchax splendens c. 5 km from the type locality, 74 years after its last record. The species was historically common in its type locality, the Estrela River basin in south‐eastern Brazil, until 1950, after which it was not encountered and thought to have become extinct due to widespread deforestation and urbanization in the region. Despite the rediscovery, this study finds that other recently published reports of L. splendens are misidentifications.

Wilson J. E. M. Costa, José L. O. Mattos and Pedro F. Amorim. 2019. Rediscovery of Leptopanchax splendens (Cyprinodontiformes: Aplocheilidae): A Seasonal killifish from the Atlantic Forest of south‐eastern Brazil that was recently considered extinct. Journal of Fish Biology.  DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13898

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

[Paleontology • 2019] Keresdrakon vilsoni • A New Toothless Pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea) from Southern Brazil with Insights Into the Paleoecology of A Cretaceous Desert

Keresdrakon vilsoni

 Kellner, Weinschütz, Holgado, Bantim & Sayão, 2019

  The first pterosaur bone bed from Brazil was reported in 2014 at the outskirts of the town Cruzeiro do Oeste, Paraná State, in the Southern region of the country. Here named 'cemitério dos pterossauros' site, these outcrops were referred to the Goio-Erê Formation (Turonian-Campanian) of the Caiuá Group (Bauru Basin) and revealed the presence of hundreds of isolated or partially articulated elements of the tapejarine pterosaur Caiuajara and fewer amounts of a theropod dinosaur. Here we present a new tapejaromorph flying reptile from this site, Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov., which shows a unique blunt ridge on the dorsal surface of the posterior end of the dentary. Morphological and osteohistological features indicate that all recovered individuals represent late juveniles or sub-adults. This site shows the first direct evidence of sympatry in Pterosauria. The two distinct flying reptiles coexisted with a theropod dinosaur, providing a rare glimpse of a paleobiological community from a Cretaceous desert.

Key words: Paleoecology; Pterosauria; Pterodactyloidea; Keresdrakon vilsoni; Paraná; Cretaceous

Figure 3: Holotype of Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov. (CP.V 2069). Skull and lower jaw are presented in right lateral view.

Abbreviations: cra - skull, cv - cervical vertebra, fe - femur, gas - gastralia, hu - humerus, man - mandible, q - quadrate, ra - radius, ri - ribs, sca - scapula, st - sternum, ti - tíbia; l - left, r - right. Scale bar = 100mm.


TAPEJAROMORHA Andres et al. 2014

Keresdrakon gen. nov.

Etymology: A combination of Keres, death-spirits who personified violent death in Greek mythology and are associated to doom and/or plunder; and drakon, which is the Ancient Greek word for dragon or huge serpent.

Type species: Keresdrakon vilsoni, type by monotypy.

Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. In honor to Mr. Vilson Greinert, a volunteer who dedicated hundreds of hours preparing most of the specimens from 'cemitério dos pterossauros' site housed in CENPALEO and in the town of Cruzeiro do Oeste.

Figure 1 Map showing the location of the 'cemitério dos pterossauros' site in Cruzeiro do Oeste (red arrow), Paraná State, southern Brazil. (a) The outcrops of the Bauru Basin (light grey) in Brazil, (b) detail of the Bauru basin with the Rio Paraná (light green), Goio-Erê (light blue), Santo Anastácio (grey) formations, and the Bauru Group (dark grey), and (c) stratigraphic chart showing the relations of the former, including the underlying Serra Geral Formation (green).

Type locality, horizon and age. 'cemitério dos pterossauros' site (53° 03′ 53,4″W; 23° 45′ 34,5″S - contra Langer et al. 2019), Cruzeiro do Oeste, Paraná State, Brazil; Bauru Basin, Caiuá Group, Goio-Erê Formation Cretaceous (Milani et al. 2007, Basilici et al. 2012, Batezelli 2015).

Diagnosis. Azhdarchoid pterodactyloid with the following autapomorphies: short blunt ridge on the dorsal surface of the posterior end of the dentary; foramen on the ventral surface at the anterior half of the proximal articulation of the first phalanx of digit IV; and foramen on lateral surface of the ischium.

The new species can be further distinguished from other azhdarchoid pterosaurs by the following combination of characters: dorsal margin of the premaxillae above the nasoantorbital fenestra rounded; sagittal groove on the dorsal surface of the premaxillae above the nasoantorbital fenestra; ridge on the medial surface of the splenial; ventral bar of the nasoantorbital fenestra thick; lateral pneumatic foramen on mid-cervical vertebra large; and strongly asymmetrical sternal articulation of the coracoid.

Figure 10: Time-calibrated phylogenetic tree showing the relationships of Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov. within the Pterodactyloidea. Intermittent bars show uncertain temporal range. Letters in intermittent bars indicate controversial age hypotheses of the Goio-Erê Formation: (a) Albian-Aptian; (b) Turonian-Campanian. Outgroup relationships are not shown (see Holgado et al. 2019 - Supplementary Information for further details). Stratigraphic chart modified from Cohen et al. (2013).

Figure 16: Sample (CP.V 2374) from bonebed C of Figure 2, showing two caudal vertebrae from Vespersaurus paranaensis (a), the diaphysis of a large first phalanx of manual digit IV of Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov. (b), and bones of Caiuajara dobruskii (c), separated by the white line. 
Abbreviations: cdr - caudal vertebrae, ph1d4 - first phalanx of manual digit IV. Scale bar = 100mm.


Figure 17: Reconstruction of the paleoenvironment showing the possible interaction of the vertebrate fauna recovered from the 'cemitério dos pterossauros' site. Artwork by Maurilio Oliveira.

The coexistence of fossil vertebrates, including pterosaurs, are hard to be proven in the fossil record, specially cases of sympatry. Regarding pterosaurs, there must have been several places along deep time where closely related species might have overlapped and shared similar geographic distribution. The challenge is to find direct evidences of this. The 'cemitério dos pterossauros' site represents the co-occurrence of distinct pterosaur species in the same bone beds, showing that Keresdrakon and Caiuajara were coeval. This site also shows that the dinosaur Vespersaurus paranaensis shared this ancient desert environment with these two flying reptiles. While Caiuajara, despite being small and therefore potentially having a more fragile skeleton, by far outnumber the other taxa and is one of the few examples in the fossil record that might argue for gregarious behavior in pterosaurs, Keresdrakon vilsoni was scarcer and apparently represents a species with solitary behavior. We advocate that both specialized in different feeding items of this most likely depauperate environment. Caiuajara is regarded as being frugivorous and Keresdrakon might have been an opportunistic predator or a scavenger feeding at small animals or carcasses such as that of Vespersaurus. The latter might have made a living by hunting individuals of Caiuajara dobruskii that were abundant. All three were part of a paleobiological community that existed in this region during part of the Cretaceous.

As has been pointed out before (Kellner 2012), the outcrops in the region of Cruzeiro do Oeste, more specifically deposits from the Caiuá Group as the Goio-Erê formation, might turn out to become the `Brazilian Mongolia´ in terms of fossil vertebrates. The hundreds of fossils from two pterosaur species and one theropod dinosaur, as well as the occurrence of a lizard, endorse this potential. It is also likely that the future might show additional taxonomic groups like mammals and other reptiles. More fieldwork and careful collection of specimens might contribute to a better understanding of the ecosystem of ancient Cretaceous deserts that, despite its general depauperate conditions, had areas where life could prosper.

Alexander W.A. Kellner, Luiz C. Weinschütz, Borja Holgado, Renan A. M. Bantim and Juliana M. Sayão. 2019. A New Toothless Pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea) from Southern Brazil with Insights Into the Paleoecology of A Cretaceous Desert. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. [An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.] 91; supl. 2.  DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201920190768