A large molecular study has confirmed what was thought for a while: some isolated groups with at most a handful of species each are so unique that they have no close living relatives remaining. Five new families were named and two were revived.
Predation is an evolutionary force shaping sea floor communities, with the record of drilling predation being particularly useful to study predatory behavior on short and long timescales. Most predatory drill holes are caused by gastropods, but octopods within Octopodoidea also produce characteristic drill holes, yet remain severely understudied in deep time.
Octopodoidea are a highly versatile and diverse group of marine predators comprising > 200 species today, but their diversity and ecology in deep time are virtually unknown. Because these soft-bodied cephalopods have a low preservation potential, only a single body fossil species has been documented.
New research unveiled the earliest evidence of octopus predation in the fossil record. The evidence consists of tiny holes drilled in the clams they preyed upon during the Cretaceous period about 75 million years ago.
Provocative headlines such as “Insectaggedon,” “Insect Apocalypse,” and “The Great Insect Dying” have directed the world’s attention to a purported widespread decline of insects and elicited calls for immediate action
Fossil hermit crabs (Paguroidea) have long been known from the fossil record, primarily from claws. Over the last ten years, their millimeter-sized shields (particularly the anterior part) have been increasingly recognized.
Methane seeps are places on the ocean floor where methane escapes from the subsurface into the water column. Such seeps, also called cold seeps, can be found at different depths in the oceans today and in the past. They are essentially the cold equivalent of hydrothermal vents.
Pterosaur remains are exceptionally rare in the Late Cretaceous marine chalks of Alabama and the few specimens found are typically very fragmentary. We report the occurrence of a metacarpal of Pteranodon cf. longiceps from the Mooreville Chalk (Campanian, 83 million years old) of Dallas County, Alabama.