Category Archives: News

Cave Bear diets

Club members has had some passing interest of the subject. 🙂

Robu, M., Wynn, J. G., Mirea, I. C., Petculescu, A., Kenesz, M., Puşcaş, C. M., Vlaicu, M., Trinkaus, E. & Constantin, S., 2018:

The diverse dietary profiles of MIS 3 cave bears from the Romanian Carpathians: insights from stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analysis.

–Palaeontology: Vol. 61, #2, pp. 209-219 [doi: 10.1111/pala.12338]

–Mikko H.

The ecological origins of snakes as revealed by skull evolution [New Publication]

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of Filipe, I would like to attract your attention on this newly published paper and thank all members of Kurten club for hosting and giving constructive feedback on earlier presentations of this project!

Da Silva, F. O., A.-C. Fabre, Y. Savriama, J. Ollonen, K. Mahlow, A. Herrel, J. Müller, and N. Di-Poï. 2018. The ecological origins of snakes as revealed by skull evolution. Nature communications 9:376.


Best wishes,
Yoland S.

Three recent publications in Nature, PNAS and Nature Ecology and Evolution


Reconciling taxon senescence with the Red Queen’s hypothesis (Zliobaite, Fortelius, Stenseth)

About it:


Productivity, biodiversity, and pathogens influence the global hunter-gatherer population density (Tallavaara, Eronen, Luoto)

Press release in English:

Press release in Finnish:


The rise and fall of the Old World savannah fauna and the origins of the African savannah biome (Kaya, Bibi, Zliobaite, Eronen, Tang, Fortelius)

(Access unfortunately not provided by our university):

About it:

A what..?!? Semiaquatic basal dromaeosaur

Hi all,

Ah, life is wonderful. 🙂

Cau, A., Beyrand, V., Voeten, D. F. A. E., Fernandez, V., Tafforeau, P., Stein, K., Barsbold, R., Tsogtbaatar, K., Currie, P. J. & Godefroit, P., 2017: Synchrotron scanning reveals amphibious ecomorphology in a new clade of bird-like dinosaurs.
–Nature: in press [doi: 10.1038/nature24679]


“Maniraptora includes birds and their closest relatives among theropod dinosaurs. During the Cretaceous period, several maniraptoran lineages diverged from the ancestral coelurosaurian bauplan and evolved novel ecomorphologies, including active flight, gigantism, cursoriality and herbivory. Propagation X-ray phase-contrast synchrotron microtomography of a well-preserved maniraptoran from Mongolia, still partially embedded in the rock matrix, revealed a mosaic of features, most of them absent among non-avian maniraptorans but shared by reptilian and avian groups with aquatic or semiaquatic ecologies. This new theropod, Halszkaraptor escuilliei gen. et sp. nov., is related to other enigmatic Late Cretaceous maniraptorans from Mongolia in a novel clade at the root of Dromaeosauridae. This lineage adds an amphibious ecomorphology to those evolved by maniraptorans: it acquired a predatory mode that relied mainly on neck hyperelongation for food procurement, it coupled the obligatory bipedalism of theropods with forelimb proportions that may support a swimming function, and it developed postural adaptations convergent with short-tailed birds.”


–Mikko H.

Dino-tail in Amber!

‘Beautiful’ dinosaur tail found preserved in amber

Xing, L., McKellar, R. C., Xu, X., Li, G., Bai, M., Persons, W. S. I. V., Miyashita, T., Benton, M. J., Zhang, J., Wolfe, A. P., Yi, Q., Tseng, K., Ran, H. & Currie, P. J., A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber.

–Current Biology: in press [doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.10.008]