Sun, 30 July 2023
The gang discusses two papers that look at examples of unusually large animals in the fossil record; one large lacewing larvae and one very large skink. Meanwhile, James is having a great day, Amanda starts a chant, and Curt learns the true meaning of “cool fossil bro”.
Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):
The friends look at two papers about things that are big for what they are. The first paper is a type of kid of an animal that is small thing that flies when it is grown but does not fly when it is a kid. These animals have a neck when they are kids which some of these animals do not have. This animal has a really long body and a really long neck. They found it in water, so they think this animal would have been a big thing living in the water and eating things that it caught with its long neck.
The second paper looks at another group of animals with cold blood and hard bits on its skin that runs around on four legs. This animal is really big for its group. Parts of this animal were found before, but they were smaller and so they were thought to be something else. This paper finds new parts that show those are parts are from this bigger thing when it was a kid. This big animal is close to another animal that is around today. When this bigger animal died, the smaller animal it is close to came into the same places and seems to have taken its place.
Du, Xuheng, Kecheng Niu, and Tong Bao. "Giant Jurassic dragon lacewing larvae with lacustrine palaeoecology represent the oldest fossil record of larval neuropterans." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 290.1993 (2023): 20222500.
Thorn, Kailah M., et al. "A giant armoured skink from Australia expands lizard morphospace and the scope of the Pleistocene extinctions." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 290.2000 (2023): 20230704.