Welcome to your usual weekly roundup of vaguely interesting stuff that happened in the last week! Enjoy, and let me know if I’ve missed anything out.
- Smiley (2018): Detecting diversification rates in relation to preservation and tectonic history from simulated fossil records. “Results from these simulations indicate that elevated diversification rates in relation to tectonic activity during the middle Miocene are likely to be evident in the fossil record, even if preservation in the North American fossil record was variable.“
- Voeten et al. (2018): Could Archaeopteryx fly? The latest research suggests…yes! “Our analyses reveal that the architecture of Archaeopteryx’s wing bones consistently exhibits a combination of cross-sectional geometric properties uniquely shared with volant birds, particularly those occasionally utilising short-distance flapping. We therefore interpret that Archaeopteryx actively employed wing flapping to take to the air through a more anterodorsally posteroventrally oriented flight stroke than used by modern birds.“
- Longrich et al. (2018): Late Maastrichtian pterosaurs from North Africa and mass extinction of Pterosauria at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. “With 3 families and at least 7 species present, the assemblage represents the most diverse known Late Cretaceous pterosaur assemblage and dramatically increases the diversity of Maastrichtian pterosaurs. At least 3 families—Pteranodontidae, Nyctosauridae, and Azhdarchidae—persisted into the late Maastrichtian. Late Maastrichtian pterosaurs show increased niche occupation relative to earlier, Santonian-Campanian faunas and successfully outcompeted birds at large sizes. These patterns suggest an abrupt mass extinction of pterosaurs at the K-Pg boundary.“
Open Science stuff
- James Heathers on why he loves preprints: “Publishing pre-prints sends a message I want to send. They say I am willing to talk. They say I want to be a participant in open culture. Please read my stuff.”
- A proposal by John Willinsky to turn Canada’s Open Access policy into the first law of its kind.
- Opinion: Is science really facing a reproducibility crisis, and do we need it to?
- Research Shows That Published Versions Of Papers In Costly Academic Titles Add Almost Nothing To The Freely-Available Preprints They Are Based On. Straight out of the ‘no shit’ department comes evidence that the scholarly publishing industry adds negligible value to the research communication process.
- Attended the Barcamp Open Science at Wikimedia HQ in Berlin. Check out the coverage from the Open Science Radio of the event!