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New techniques in the study of fossil spiders

Posted by David Penney on

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new invited review paper concerning the application of new imaging techniques in the study of fossil spiders. The paper, written by Dr Paul Selden (University of Kansas) and Dr David Penney (Siri Scientific Press and University of Manchester) was published in the high impact journal Earth-Science Reviews and can be accessed by clicking the link at the end of this short article. These authors have a long history or working together on fossil spiders, which occur as both fossils preserved in amber and as compression fossils in rock. In 2002 they...

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Recent advances in British palaeontology

Posted by David Penney on

These are exciting times for British palaeontology, with new important discoveries being documented in the scientific literature on a reasonably frequent basis. Some recent examples that spring to mind include the new Welsh theropod dinosaur Dracoraptor hanigani, the new ichthyosaur species Eileanchelys waldmani from the Isle of Skye, Scotland and most recently the description of two new species of Ichthyosaurus, by Dean Lomax and Judy Massare, in a paper just published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology. Dean is well known as the co-presenter of the TV documentary Dinosaur Britain and also as co-author of our highly acclaimed book: Dinosaurs of...

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How many different types of spider are there? You might be surprised!

Posted by David Penney on

Love them or loathe them, spiders seem to be all over the place, whether it be sitting on a flower head, hanging in the middle of a beautifully geometric orb web or scuttling across your floor. But ... have you ever stopped to wonder how many different types there are? Even in the UK most people can probably only recognize a handful of different types. For example, the common house spider, the daddy-long-legs spider, the common garden spider, the zebra jumping spider (seen on walls on sunny days), and possibly a few others. Author of the blog with a giant...

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New volume on fossil arthropods in Mexican amber

Posted by David Penney on

This is the second blog post in a series resulting from attending the 7th International Conference on Fossil Insects, Arthropods and Amber and concerns new fossils described from Mexican amber. A fabulous fossil insect preserved in Miocene Mexican amber At the meeting we met up with many of the world’s leading palaeoentomologists who have published their work with Siri Scientific Press. Without doubt the leading authority on fossils preserved in Mexican amber is Monica Solorzano-Kraemer from the Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany. Monica wrote the chapter on Mexican amber in our Biodiversity of Fossils in Amber from the Major...

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A new ORDER of insects: Alienoptera

Posted by David Penney on

The new order of insects: Alienoptera, has just been proposed in a paper due to be published in the journal Gondwana Research. The paper was made available online on 4 March as an accepted manuscript in press, but has not yet been formatted to the standard journal style. Ming Bai, Rolf Georg Beutel, Klaus-Dieter Klass, Weiwei Zhang, Xingke Yang, Benjamin Wipfler 2016. †Alienoptera – a new insect order in the roach - mantodean twilight zone. Gondwana Research, doi:10.1016/j.gr.2016.02.002 (where the full paper can be downloaded for $35.95) The new order has been erected based on a single (almost complete) male...

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