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Article Reference A new pipid from the Cretaceous of Africa (In Becetèn, Niger) and early evolution of the Pipidae
Pipimorpha and its crown-group Pipidae possess one of the most extensive fossil records among anurans, known since the Early Cretaceous in both Laurasia and Gondwana. Pipimorph diversification may have been driven by the breakup of West Gondwana during the Cretaceous. Numerous fossils from South America have been unearthed in the last decade, documenting this event. Unfortunately, Cretaceous pipimorphs from Africa have been limited to a few wellpreserved taxa from sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, which hinders our comprehension of pipimorph diversification during this key period. The site of In Becetèn, in south-east Niger, is one of the few mid-Late Cretaceous (Coniacian–Santonian) sites from which a pipid, Pachycentrata taqueti, is known. Here, we describe and name a second pipid from the same locality. This taxon is known by a relatively complete braincase. Phylogenetic analyses confirm its position as a pipid, with pipinomorph affinities. This makes In Becetèn the oldest site with at least two pipids. Phylogenetic results are congruent with recent pipimorph relationships, with the presence of an endemic extinct clade in South America, Shelaniinae. The phylogenetic results also allow us to review the proposed definition for Pipimorpha and its subclades and propose new systematic definitions for them. Temporal calibration of the phylogenetic tree based on the fossil record suggests that pipimorphs diversified in a western Gondwana block and confirms that South America separated from Africa around the mid-Cretaceous. Between these two events, pipids diverged in Africa, giving rise to major extant clades. This study highlights the importance of Africa for early pipid diversification during the Cretaceous and of the opening of the Southern Atlantic Ocean for anuran dispersion and diversification.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 OA
Inproceedings Reference A new small crocodylian skull from the early Paleocene of Qianshan, Anhui, China reveals an ancient Asian ghost lineage
The Crocodylia include all modern crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials, and their extinct relatives. They are an ancient lineage that originated around 70 million years ago. Recently, the field of crocodylian paleontology has experienced a rise in attention from researchers, however, much is still unknown about the early evolution of this group. Our research describes newly discovered fossil material comprised of a small crocodylian skull and associated partial lower jaw of early Paleocene age. It was discovered during a Belgian-Chinese expedition in Qianshan Basin, Anhui Province, China, as part of a bilateral cooperation project between the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In the present study, the fossil material is formally described for the first time. Micro-CT scans are made to visualize internal anatomical structures, as well as characters hidden by the sediment. A comprehensive morphological study is executed, revealing that the specimen is a juvenile. It likely constitutes a new species and genus, as it differs from other crocodyloids by several autapomorphies. A phylogenetic analysis based on morphological characteristics reveal that this specimen is the most basal taxon among Crocodyloidea, a group that comprises all species more closely related to modern crocodiles than to modern alligators, caimans, or gharials. Although it is not the oldest crocodyloid ever reported, it is the earliest crocodyloid in Asia. Moreover, its basal phylogenetic position implies that it is part of an ancient ghost lineage of crocodyloids that had already been around in Asia for a longer time. The presence of crocodyloid remains in the Late Cretaceous of North America and the late Paleocene of Europe suggests that crocodyloids may have migrated there from Asia early on in their evolutionary history.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference A new species of Platylomia Stål, 1870 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Vietnam, with a key to species
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA
Article Reference A new species of Actinopyga (Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida: Holothuriidae)
Actinopyga is one of the five genera commonly recognised in the family Holothuriidae. This small genus has sixteen species currently considered valid. The present paper describes a new Indo-West Pacific species, Actinopyga caerulea, of which the most striking character is its bluish coloration. The ossicle assemblage of the new species resembles mostly that of A. bannwarthi Panning, 1944 and A. flammea Cherbonnier, 1979.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A new species of Calvisia (Calvisia) from Thailand and Myanmar and notes on C. (Calvisia) sangarius from Peninsular Malaysia (Phasmida, Lonchodidae, Necrosciinae)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA
Article Reference A new species of Drapetis Meigen from calcareous grassland in southern Netherlands (Diptera, Hybotidae, Tachydromiinae)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Article Reference A new species of Holothuria (Aspidochitotida, Holothuriidae) from Kenya
A new species, Holothuria (Mertensiothuria) arenacava (Echinodermata, Holothuroidea) from the littoral waters of Kenya is described. This species is characterized by its sand-burrowing behaviour, its small tentacles, the variously developed tables, corpuscules, buttons, plates and rods in the tube feet, and by the smooth, spiny and knobbed rods in the tentacles.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A new species of the genus Stilpon Loew, 1859 from Morocco (Diptera: Empidoidea, Hybotidae)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021 OA
Article Reference A new species of the genus Macrosemia from Vietnam
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference A new species of the genus Psalidosphryon Komiya, 2001 from West Papua, Indonesia (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021