Herpetology

  • Article |

    A fossil egg unearthed from Cretaceous deposits in Antarctica is more than 20 cm long, exceeds all known nonavian eggs in volume, is soft-shelled, and was perhaps laid by a giant marine lizard such as a mosasaur.

    • Lucas J. Legendre
    • , David Rubilar-Rogers
    •  & Julia A. Clarke
  • Article |

    Three-dimensionally preserved fossils of Parmastega aelidae, a newly described tetrapod from the earliest Famennian (Late Devonian) of Russia, provide detailed insights into the morphology and palaeobiology of the earliest tetrapods.

    • Pavel A. Beznosov
    • , Jennifer A. Clack
    •  & Per Erik Ahlberg
  • Letter |

    Two populations of Anolis lizards that survived Hurricanes Irma and Maria had larger toepads, longer forelimbs and shorter hindlimbs relative to the pre-hurricane populations, which suggests hurricane-induced natural selection.

    • Colin M. Donihue
    • , Anthony Herrel
    •  & Jonathan B. Losos
  • Letter |

    A contemporary test of the theory of island biogeography, in which species richness is determined by an island’s area and isolation, shows that geographic area is still a good positive predictor of species richness, but that geographic isolation as a negative predictor has been replaced by economic isolation.

    • Matthew R. Helmus
    • , D. Luke Mahler
    •  & Jonathan B. Losos
  • Letter |

    Unlike the tidal (in and out) breathing of mammals, bird lungs have unidirectional airflow patterns; here the savannah monitor lizard is shown to have unidirectional airflow too, with profound implications for the evolution of unidirectional airflow in reptiles, predating the origin of birds.

    • Emma R. Schachner
    • , Robert L. Cieri
    •  & C. G. Farmer