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Undergraduate Bursary Report: Sharks with question marks - impacts of a new fossil on interrelationships of early bullhead sharks


Bullhead sharks (Heterodontiformes) represent a monophyletic group that occupies a basal position within modern sharks, rays, and skates (Neoselachii) (Carvalho 1996).  Remains of Heterodontiformes are among the oldest in the fossil record for Neoselachii (Kriwet 2008).  Three genera are known from the Jurassic as a result of their rapid diversification: Proheterodontus and Paracestracion, which disappear from the fossil record before the Cretaceous, and the extant Heterodontus, which underwent further radiation in the Cretaceous.

Sylvester-Bradley Report: Fossil polychaetes from the Palaeozoic of North America


Annelids are an ancient animal phylum with a fossil record that extends approximately 520 million years to the early Cambrian.  During this time, annelids have evolved a multitude of body plans, feeding modes, ecologies and life histories.  They occur in diverse ecosystems ranging from the deep sea to terrestrial soils, and fill niches from vagile predators to sessile filter feeders.  Annelid body fossils are known from numerous Palaeozoic Lagerstätten and are preserved in various ways, including as carbonaceous compressions, pyritized remains and in iron carbonate conc

Callomon Report: The evolution of modern reef ecosystems

Many of the animal groups that comprise modern reef ecosystems first appeared or radiated during the Mesozoic in the wake of the late Permian mass extinction.  This event caused the extinction of up to 74% of benthic invertebrates, including major Palaeozoic reef building animals (e.g., rugose and tabulate corals).  In the aftermath of the extinction, i.e., during the Induan substage, reefs were relatively impoverished and were constructed by microbialites (Figure 1).  Although metazoan-constructed reefs reappear in the fossil record during the Early Triassic (e.g.

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