Year: 2019

Perspectives — Palaeontology in 2018

Perspectives — Palaeontology in 2018

Perspectives
by The Palaeontology [online] editorial board*1 Introduction: At the turn of most years, the some of the editorial board at Palaeontology [online] takes the opportunity to reflect on the past year in palaeontology. Given that we published a wonderful overview of Diploporitans in January, this year we’ve moved our look over our favourite studies from last year to February. Palaeontology and associated disciplines are fast-moving and exciting areas of science — looking back at 2018 lets us highlight just a few of the key developments that really show this. Picking just one article each is difficult, and we have been forced to miss out many of the hundreds of exciting papers published in the past 12 months. Nevertheless, we hope that our choices reflect the breadth and depth of palaeob
Fossil Focus: Diploporitans

Fossil Focus: Diploporitans

Fossil Focus
by Sarah L. Sheffield*1 Introduction: Echinoderms, a group of marine animals that includes familiar organisms such as sea stars and sea urchins, were much more diverse in the past than they are today. There are five living classes of echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins, brittle stars, sea cucumbers and crinoids), but more than 20 extinct classes are known only from the fossil record. During the Palaeozoic Era (542 million to 251 million years ago), especially, echinoderms were incredibly diverse and thrived all over the globe (Fig. 1). This was a time of significant environmental change, with the climate ranging from very warm oceans with high sea levels and high atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to much colder oceans, with extensive glacial ice. By studying how fossil ...