News 2011

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Arnau Bolet Marc Jones Ryoko Matsumoto Elizabeth Ward Jérémy Anquetin Marianne Pearson

December 2011
Marc Jones and Susan Evans contribute to a paper led by Neil Curtis (University of Hull) investigating strain in the skull of the New Zealand tuatara (Sphenodon) using a sophisticated three dimensional computer model. This work is published in PLoS ONE and is part of a multi-disciplinary collaboration between the Evans Lab and colleagues at the University of Hull and Hull-York Medical School funded by the BBSRC.

2011 Sphenodon tuatara skull FEA Curtis etal 2011
December 2011
Marc Jones presents a poster on cranial joints at the Joint Winter Meeting of Anatomical Societies held in Cardiff (UK) as part of the lab's collaborative BBSRC project with University of Hull and Hull-York Medical School.

December 2011
Paul Barrett contributes to a paper describing a new species of Ceratopsian from Canada (Spinops sternbergoru) in a paper published in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica first authored by Andrew Farke.

Life restoration (copyright Dmitry Bogdanov) and skull reconstruction (copyright Lukas Panzarin):

2011_Spinops_new_ceratopsian
December 2011
Marianne Pearson presents a poster on salamander morphological characters at the Young Systematic's Forum held in London, UK.

November 2011
Marc Jones contributes to a paper in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology on the phylogenetic position of Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis a diplodocid sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. This publication was led by Phil Mannion (UCL, Earth Sciences) and carried out in collaboration with Octavio Mateus (Universidade Nova da Lisboa and Museu da Lourinhã, Portugal), Rosie Barnes and Paul Upchurch ( both UCL, Earth Sciences).

2011 Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis Mannion et al 2011
November 2011
Marc Jones publishes a paper with Sebastian Apesteguía in Cretaceous Research about a tuatara-like fossil from the Late Cretaceous of South America

November 2011
Susan Evans, Marc Jones, Marianne Pearson and Paul Barrett all attend the 72nd annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) held in Las Vegas, USA. Susan Evans presented a talk on the earliest known live-bearing lizard, Marc Jones presented a talk on the origin of lepidosaurs, Paul Barrett presented a talk on archosaur pneumaticity, and Marianne Pearson presented a poster on the fossil record of the earliest terrestrial herbivores.

October 2011
With Yuan Wang (IVPP, Beijing, China), Susan Evans publishes a paper in Cretaceous Research on new material of the fossil lizard Yabeinosaurus.

2011_Yabeinosaurus_new_material
October 2011
Roger Benson (University of Cambridge and University College London) visits the lab to enter data into the Palaeobiology Database.

September 2011
Susan Evans, Marc Jones, Paul Barrett, Ryoko Matsumoto, and Marianne Pearson all attend the 59th metting of the Symposium of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (SVPCA) in Lyme Regis. Susan presented a talk on the fossil lizard Yabeinosaurus, Marc presented a talk on food processing in reptiles linked to the BBSRC skull mechanics project, Paul presented a talk on a new sauropod dinosaur skull, and Ryoko presented a talk on a new fossil choristoderan reptile from France. Marc also attended the field trip to Kimmeridge Bay (below).

2011 September Kimmeridge SVPCA59

August 2011
Marc Jones attends the 15th International Symposium on Dental Morphology in Newcastle where he presented a talk on research carried out in conjunction with Roger Benson (University of Cambridge and recently UCL).

2011 August ISDM15 Newcastle
July 2011
Marc Jones assisted with a ThinkWrite training course in Aschau (Germany) as part of the Amgen Scholars Program hosted by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, LMU (University of Munich) in partnership with the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institut (Stockholm). Marc also visited collections at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, LMU (University of Munich) hosted by Oliver Rauhut and Richard Butler.

July 2011
Paul Barret provides a quote for the Guardian Newspaper regarding a new research that questions the position of Archaeopteryx as the first bird.

July 2011
Susan Evans coauthors a paper in Naturwissenschaften with Yuan Wang (IVPP, Beijing China) on a gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China. The specimen from the Jiufotang Formation preserves the remains of at least 15 embryonic skeletons within the body cavity of a mother lizard. This discovery dated to 120 million years ago represents the earliest known example of viviparity in a lizard. This reproductive strategy is more commonly associated with placental mammals but is found in about 20% of the 6000 living species of lizard and appears to have evolved in this clade repeatedly for life in cold or stressful environments.

This pregnant lizard features on BBC nature as well as several other internet news outlets such as LiveScience, MSNBC, MSN, mother nature network, tawnet, UPI, Zeenews, physorg and blogs such as serpent research and hornofAfrica.

Schematic restoration by Marc Jones:

2011_gravid_preganat_fossil_lizard_Yabeinosaurus_Evans_and_Wang_2011
July 2011
Marc Jones visited the specimen collections at Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle and attended the 5th international meeting on Cranio-Cervical Systems (CCS5) presenting a poster of Sphenodon suture work carried out as part of the BBSRC skull mechanics project.
2011 July CCS5 Marc Jones
June 2011
Roger Benson (University of Cambridge) visits the lab to examine lepidosaur material.

June 2011
Marc Jones, and Susan Evans publish a paper in Palaeontologia Electronica with colleagues from University of Hull and Hull York Medical School on the cranial sutures in Sphenodon (New Zealand tuatara). This work shows that most of the joints between individual skull bones involve simple abutments or large overlaps. The latter provide a large surface area for fibrous tissues that maintain the rigidity of the skull. These overlaps tend to be more extensive in the adult animals that, compared to juveniles, bite more forcefully and eat harder prey.

A related blog post: tuatara skull joints by Heinrich Mallinson.

2011 Sphenodon sutures Jones etal 2011

June 2011
Paul Barrett publishes a first author paper in Biology Letters about the first spinosaur fossil record of Australia with colleagues from University of Cambridge, Museum Victoria Melbourne and Monash University, Clayton, Australia. The specimen described represents the first member of the Spinosauridae recorded from Australia. When considered together with other recent Cretaceous dinosaur finds, this helps to demonstrate that many dinosaur groups were much more cosmopolitanat this time than thought previously. Image Museum Victoria/NHM copyright:

2011 Oz spinosaur vertebra Museum Victoria and NHM copyright


June 2011

We are pleased to announce that Ryoko Matsumoto passed her PhD viva and submitted her final thesis after minor corrections.

2011 Ryoko Matsumoto
May 2011
Marianne Pearson presented a poster at Progressive Palaeontology hosted by University of Leicester.

May 2011
Sijia Zhao joins the lab for four weeks to carry out a short summer project involving CT scan data of lizard skulls.

2011 Sijia Zhao
May 2011
Marc Jones is elected to be a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

May 2011
Marc Jones again provides a talk for Nature Live at the Natural History Museum hosted by Charlotte Coales. Photo taken by Elizabeth Robson.

2011 May Nature Live
May 2011
Paul Barrett was awarded the Bicentenary Medal by the Linnean Society of London.

April 2011
Upon invitation Susan Evans presents a talk on reptile skull evolution mechanics for the Paläontologisches Institut und Museum der Universität Zürich, Switzerland.

March 2011
Susan Evans publishes a paper with Yuan Wang (IVPP, Beijing) in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology about a new fossil lizard from the Yixian Formation of China. The specimens preserve amazing detail of soft tissue structures including details of scalation, cartilage elements, and claw sheaths. Cladistic analysis using morphological characters places the new taxon in a sister group relationship to 'Scleroglossa'.

2011 Liushusaurus Evans & Wang J Syst Pal
March 2011
Ulrich Witzel (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) visits the lab.
2011_Ulrich_Witzel_Evans_Lab_crocodile_dissection
 

February 2011
Marc Jones provides a talk for Nature Live at the Natural History Museum on the tuatara of New Zealand hosted by Charlotte Coales. Photo taken by David Godfrey.

2011 Feb Nature Live

January 2011
Marta Gomez Betanzos joins the lab to carry out volunteer work for 9 weeks.

2011 Marta Gomez Betanzos
January 2011
Paul Barrett provides a quote for the BBC News regarding a new dinosaur find from China.

January 2011
Flora Gröning (University of Hull) visits the lab.