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      Jurassic Pork: What Could a Jewish Time Traveler Eat?

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      Evolution: Education and Outreach

      Springer Nature

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          The age and diversification of the angiosperms re-revisited.

          • It has been 8 years since the last comprehensive analysis of divergence times across the angiosperms. Given recent methodological improvements in estimating divergence times, refined understanding of relationships among major angiosperm lineages, and the immense interest in using large angiosperm phylogenies to investigate questions in ecology and comparative biology, new estimates of the ages of the major clades are badly needed. Improved estimations of divergence times will concomitantly improve our understanding of both the evolutionary history of the angiosperms and the patterns and processes that have led to this highly diverse clade. • We simultaneously estimated the age of the angiosperms and the divergence times of key angiosperm lineages, using 36 calibration points for 567 taxa and a "relaxed clock" methodology that does not assume any correlation between rates, thus allowing for lineage-specific rate heterogeneity. • Based on the analysis for which we set fossils to fit lognormal priors, we obtained an estimated age of the angiosperms of 167-199 Ma and the following age estimates for major angiosperm clades: Mesangiospermae (139-156 Ma); Gunneridae (109-139 Ma); Rosidae (108-121 Ma); Asteridae (101-119 Ma). • With the exception of the age of the angiosperms themselves, these age estimates are generally younger than other recent molecular estimates and very close to dates inferred from the fossil record. We also provide dates for all major angiosperm clades (including 45 orders and 335 families [208 stem group age only, 127 both stem and crown group ages], sensu APG III). Our analyses provide a new comprehensive source of reference dates for major angiosperm clades that we hope will be of broad utility.
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            Carbon isotope fractionation between diet and bioapatite in ungulate mammals and implications for ecological and paleoecological studies.

             The isotope enrichment ɛ* of (13)C between tooth enamel of large ruminant mammals and their diet is 14.1 ± 0.5‰. This value was obtained by analyzing both the dental enamel of a variety of wild and captive mammals and the vegetation that comprised their foodstuffs. This isotope enrichment factor applies to a wide variety of ruminant mammals. Non-ruminant ungulates have a similar isotope enrichment, although our data cannot determine if it is significantly different. We also found a (13)C isotope enrichment ɛ* of 3.1 ± 0.7‰ for horn relative to diet, and 11.1 ± 0.8‰ for enamel relative to horn for ruminant mammals. Tooth enamel is a faithful recorder of diet. Its isotopic composition can be used to track changes in the isotopic composition of the atmosphere, determine the fraction of C3 or C4 biomass in diets of modern or fossil mammals, distinguish between mammals using different subpathways of C4 photosynthesis,and identify those mammals whose diet is derived from closed-canopy habitats.
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              The Tree of Life and a New Classification of Bony Fishes

              The tree of life of fishes is in a state of flux because we still lack a comprehensive phylogeny that includes all major groups. The situation is most critical for a large clade of spiny-finned fishes, traditionally referred to as percomorphs, whose uncertain relationships have plagued ichthyologists for over a century. Most of what we know about the higher-level relationships among fish lineages has been based on morphology, but rapid influx of molecular studies is changing many established systematic concepts. We report a comprehensive molecular phylogeny for bony fishes that includes representatives of all major lineages. DNA sequence data for 21 molecular markers (one mitochondrial and 20 nuclear genes) were collected for 1410 bony fish taxa, plus four tetrapod species and two chondrichthyan outgroups (total 1416 terminals). Bony fish diversity is represented by 1093 genera, 369 families, and all traditionally recognized orders. The maximum likelihood tree provides unprecedented resolution and high bootstrap support for most backbone nodes, defining for the first time a global phylogeny of fishes. The general structure of the tree is in agreement with expectations from previous morphological and molecular studies, but significant new clades arise. Most interestingly, the high degree of uncertainty among percomorphs is now resolved into nine well-supported supraordinal groups. The order Perciformes, considered by many a polyphyletic taxonomic waste basket, is defined for the first time as a monophyletic group in the global phylogeny. A new classification that reflects our phylogenetic hypothesis is proposed to facilitate communication about the newly found structure of the tree of life of fishes. Finally, the molecular phylogeny is calibrated using 60 fossil constraints to produce a comprehensive time tree. The new time-calibrated phylogeny will provide the basis for and stimulate new comparative studies to better understand the evolution of the amazing diversity of fishes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Evolution: Education and Outreach
                Evo Edu Outreach
                Springer Nature
                1936-6426
                1936-6434
                December 2015
                September 24 2015
                : 8
                : 1
                Article
                10.1186/s12052-015-0047-2
                © 2015
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