Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two articles of note

First, congratulations to Chris Brochu and colleagues on their paper describing a new species of "horned" crocodile from Olduvai Gorge in Kenya. This probably was an animal that preyed on our earliest human ancestors, as evidenced by a variety of hominid bones from the area with crocodile bite marks. Consequently, this animal has been given the name Crocodylus anthropophagus ("human-eating crocodile"). The paper is freely viewable at PLoS ONE, as a regular web page, XML file, or PDF, and you can also download high resolution versions of the figures. Have a question or comment on the paper? Head on over to the website and get yourself heard! (full disclosure: I am an editor at PLoS ONE)

The second paper of interest concerns the issue of data sharing, which I covered a few weeks back. Following up on a statement published in The American Naturalist, the editors of Evolution have issued their statement (institutional subscription or payment required, sorry) supporting mandatory archival of most data for papers published within the journal. This isn't a huge surprise (they were listed in the earlier article as a supporter), but it's still nice to see something in print. Thanks to Randy Irmis for the notice!

Brochu CA, Njau J, Blumenschine RJ, Densmore LD (2010) A new horned crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene hominid sites at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9333. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009333

Rausher MD, McPeek MA, Moore AJ, Rieseberg L, Whitlock MC (2010) Data archiving. Evolution 64: 603-604. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00940.x


Mike Taylor said...

"This probably was an animal that preyed on our earliest ancestors". Grr, pet hate. Why would a basal homonid count as being among our ancestors but a basal primate (or indeed a basal mammal, tetrapod, vertebrate or animal)?

220mya said...

"earliest hominid ancestors" would be fine though.