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Article Reference Vertebrate predation in the Late Devonian evidenced by bite traces and regurgitations: implications for an early tetrapod freshwater ecosystem
The terrestrialization process by vertebrates occurred during the Devonian period, with fully land-dwelling tetrapods recorded in the Carboniferous. Thus, the Late Devonian is an important period for deciphering the ecological pressures that applied during the water-to-land transition. Higher predation pressures in the underwater environment have been suggested as an influential biotic evolutionary factor in this key habitat shift. Direct evidence of ancient predation on Palaeozoic vertebrates is seen in the form of rare traces preserved on fossils, and these range from trauma observed on the skeleton (such as attack marks) to ingested food remains (bromalites). The late Famennian freshwater ecosystem of Strud (Belgium) consists of a rich assemblage of many coeval gnathostomes or jawed fishes (placoderms, ‘acanthodians’, actinopterygians, and various sarcopterygian groups including tetrapods). Here we analyse the record of direct evidence for predation in the Strud vertebrate fossil assemblage. We recognize 12 regurgitalites and 13 bite traces, including a rare case of a tooth embedded in its original prey body target. Fossils from regurgitalites were imaged using scanning electron microscopy and chemically analysed to test for their possible ingestion signature by comparison with other isolated skeletal remains from the same locality. From this evidence, tristichopterid tetrapodomorphs are inferred to be the highest consumers of the trophic network, targeting small placoderms, and porolepiforms, and probably congeners. We observe two possible prey patterns in regurgitalites, for sarcopterygians and actinopterygians, both of which are associated with acanthodians. In Strud, no trophic position can be deduced for tetrapods from direct fossil evidence of predation.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Inproceedings Reference Vestibular sensitivity and locomotor behavior in early paleocene mammals
The end-Cretaceous extinction triggered the collapse of ecosystems and a drastic turnover of mammalian communities. During the Mesozoic, mammals were ecologically diverse, but less than extant species. Modern ecological richness was established by the Eocene, but questions remain about the ecology of the first wave of mammals radiating after the extinction. Postcranial fossils are often used to determine locomotor behavior; however, the semicircular canals of the inner ear also represent a reliable proxy. These canals detect the angular acceleration of the head during locomotion and transmit neuronal signals to the brain to allow stabilization of the eyes and head. Accordingly, vestibular sensitivity to rapid rotational head movements is higher in species with a larger canal radius of curvature and more orthogonal canals. We used high-resolution computed tomography scanning to obtain inner ear virtual endocasts for 30 specimens. We supplemented these with data from the literature to construct a database of 79 fossils from the Jurassic to the Eocene and 262 extant mammals. We compared data on canal morphology and another lifestyle proxy, the size of the petrosal lobules, which have a role in maintaining eyes’ movements and position. We find that Paleocene mammals exhibited a lower average and more constricted range of Agility Indices (AI), a new measure of canal radius size relative to body size, compared to Mesozoic, Eocene and extant taxa. In the early Paleocene, body mass and canal radius increased, but the former outpaced the latter leading to an AI decline. Similarly, their petrosal lobules were relatively smaller on average compared to other temporal groups, which suggests less ability for fast movements. Additionally, Paleocene mammals had similar AIs to extant scansorial and terrestrial quadrupeds. In contrast, the lack of canal orthogonality change from the Mesozoic to the Paleocene indicates no trend toward lower vestibular sensitivity regardless of changes in body size. This result may reflect functional differences between canal orthogonality and radius size. Our results support previous work on tarsal morphology and locomotor behavior ancestral state reconstruction suggesting that ground dwelling mammals were more common than arboreal taxa during the Paleocene. Ultimately, this pattern may indicate that the collapse of forested environments immediately after extinction led to the preferential survivorship of more terrestrially adapted mammals. Funding Sources Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: IF, European Research Council StG, National Science Foundation, Belgian Science Policy Office, DMNS No Walls Community Initiative.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA
Article Reference Vier nieuwe boktorsoorten aan de westrand van Brussel (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference Vingt-deuxième contribution à l’étude des Callichromatini africains: description de deux espèces et deux sous-espèces nouvelles de Synaptola (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Cerambycinae, Callichromatini).
Located in Library / RBINS collections by external author(s)
Inproceedings Reference Virtual biomechanical analysis of the lower limbs of a Neandertal
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Virtual reconstruction of the Neandertal lower limbs with an estimation of hamstring muscle moment arms
A major problem of fossil hominid analysis is a lack of complete specimens. Many individual specimens have been damaged by the effects of diagenesis and excavation. Significant advances in the field of three dimensional image processing (3D) have enabled the creation of accurately scaled reconstructions of individual fossil bones using mirrored parts of the same fossil bone or human/fossil hominid equivalents. This study presents, for the first time, a method to reconstruct a 3D virtual model of the lower limb of the Neandertal using different bones from different fossil remains (Spy II, Neandertal 1 and Kebara 2) and integrating them into a single model of the Neandertal lower limb. A biomechanical analysis of the model was performed, including computer graphics visualization of the results, motion displacement graphs and muscle moment arms. The overall method has been implemented into an open-source customized software (lhpFusionBox) developed for the biomechanical study of the musculoskeletal system.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Virtual reconstruction of the skull of Bernissartia fagesii and current understanding of the neosuchian–eusuchian transition
Since the description of Isisfordia duncani, a number of new extinct species and revisions of previously described species have prompted a variety of contradicting phylogenetic hypotheses on the topology of Neosuchia. As a consequence, a consensus on the rooting of Eusuchia in relation to other neosuchian clades has not been reached and the origin of the group remains unsettled. Exemplifying this, Bernissartia fagesii, from the Early Cretaceous of Belgium, has long been considered a key taxon for understanding the origin of Eusuchia, but more recent hypotheses found support for a more basal position, as an ally to goniopholidids, paralligatorids or atoposaurids. Because many details of the anatomy of the type specimen are hidden by glue and the sediment adhering to the fossils, a number of characters are pending confirmation. Based on computed tomography data, we extract bones of the cranium and mandibles, describe new characters and re-evaluate anatomical details in the lectotype specimen. Our phylogenetic analysis confirms that B. fagesii is a derived neosuchian, unrelated to atoposaurids, goniopholidids and paralligatorids. We recover B. fagesii and Koumpiodontosuchus aprosdokiti in a basal position within Eusuchia, together with Susisuchidae, a group of gondwanan neosuchians containing Susisuchus and Isisfordia, which here form a polytomy with Hylaeochampsidae. The presence/absence of pterygoid-bound internal choanae cannot be used to fully resolve relationships at the neosuchian–eusuchian transition because of the variability of this character even at the familial level, as recently reported within susisuchids and bernissartiids. There is no doubt that true eusuchians were present in Laurasia as early as the Early Cretaceous, the hylaeochampsid Hylaeochampsa vectiana being the oldest (Barremian) undoubted representative. But whether the Eusuchia were also present in southern landmasses depends on solving the phylogenetic position of susisuchids and other less known gondwanan forms within or outside Eusuchia.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Article Reference Vis-otolieten in de Paleontologie.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Volkovitshilus sg.n. and Bilyilus sg.n., two new subgenera of Indo-Pacific Agrilus curt. (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)
Located in Library / RBINS collections by external author(s)
Incollection Reference Voorname bezoekers: een blik op het Leopold III-Fonds
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017