• Oldfield Thomas: In His Own Words.

      Portela Miguez, R (Natural Sciences Collections Association, 2019-03-28)
      Compilation of a series of non-academic articles written by Oldfield Thomas for the public press.
    • On Temminck's tailless Ceylon Junglefowl, and how Darwin denied their existence

      van Grouw, Hein; Dekkers, W; Rookmaaker, K (British Ornithologists' Club, 2017-12-11)
      Ceylon Junglefowl was described in 1807 by the Dutch ornithologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. The specimens he examined were tailless (‘rumpless’) and therefore he named them Gallus ecaudatus. In 1831 the French naturalist René Primevère Lesson described a Ceylon Junglefowl with a tail as Gallus lafayetii (= lafayettii), apparently unaware of Temminck's ecaudatus. Subsequently, ecaudatus and lafayettii were realised to be the same species, of which G.stanleyi and G.lineatus are junior synonyms. However, Charles Darwin tried to disprove the existence of wild tailless junglefowl on Ceylon in favour of his theory on the origin of the domestic chicken.
    • On the front line of modern data-management and Open Access publishing: Two years of PhytoKeys – the fastest growing journal in plant systematics

      Kress, WJ; Knapp, S; Stoev, P; Penev, L (Pensoft Publishers, 2012-12-18)
      PhytoKeys was launched on the 1st of November 2010 as a novel, peer-reviewed, openaccess outlet for plant biodiversity research (Penev et al. 2010a). The journal quickly gained the support of the international botanical community and since its launch continues to grow in reputation and volume.
    • On the identity and typification of Solanum brasilianum Dunal (Solanaceae)

      Ribeiro-Silva, S; Knapp, S; Proença, CEB (2017-01-05)
    • On the Identity of Crioceris aulica Fabricius, 1781, a Member of Malachiidae Misplaced in Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) and Consequent Taxonomical Changes in Atelechira Lacordaire, 1848

      Geiser, M; Bezdek, J (The Coleopterists Society, 2019-03-25)
      The type of Crioceris aulica Fabricius, 1781 in the collection of Sir Joseph Banks at the Natural History Museum, London was examined. It turned out that this species is in fact not a member of Atelechira Lacordaire (Chrysomelidae: Clytrini), but rather a member of Hadrocnemus (Malachiidae) as Hadrocnemus aulicus (Fabricius, 1781), new combination. Hadrocnemus hilarus (Evers, 1987) may be synonymous with H. aulicus, but it is here provisionally maintained as a valid taxon pending availability of further material. Atelechira elegans (Thunberg, 1821) is restored as the valid name for the species previously referred to as A. aulica (auct., not Fabricius). A lectotype is designated for C. aulica. All examined types are illustrated, and comments on their distinguishing characters and distribution are added.
    • Open data and digital morphology

      Davies, TG; Rahman, IA; Lautenschlager, S; Cunningham, JA; Asher, RJ; Barrett, PM; Bates, KT; Bengtson, S; Benson, RB; Boyer, DM; et al. (2017-04-12)
    • The origin of evolutionary storytelling

      Jenner, R; Fusco, G (Padova University PressPadova, Italy, 2019-01)
      Phylogenetics emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century as a discipline dedicated to constructing descriptive and explanatory narratives that traced the evolutionary origins of taxa and traits. Because ancestors and evolutionary transformations are empirically inaccessible, phylogeneticists had no choice but to use their more or less informed imagination to gain access to this epistemic hinterland. The explanatory power of phylogenetic hypotheses resides in their ability to trace back traits to their evolutionary origins. Hypothetical ancestors therefore became important epistemic tools as they were deliberately equipped with characters that could function as suitable evolutionary precursors for traits of interest. I argue that the precursor potential of hypothetical ancestors therefore became the first, more or less objective, phylogenetic optimality criterion.
    • An overview of the tapeworms of vertebrate bowels of the earth

      Caira, JN; Jensen, K; Georgiev, BB; Kuchta, R; Littlewood, T; Mariaux, J; Scholz, T; Tkach, VV; Waeschenbach, A; Caira, JN; et al. (Lawrence, Kansas, 2017)
    • A parakeet specimen held at National Museums Scotland is a unique skin of the extinct Reunion Parakeet Psittacula eques eques: a reply to Cheke and Jansen ()

      Jones, CG; Jackson, HA; McGowan, RY; Hume, JP; Forshaw, JM; Tatayah, V; Winters, R; Groombridge, JJ (Wiley, 2018-11-02)
      Cheke and Jansen (2016) questioned the identity of a parakeet specimen at National Museums Scotland (NMS), Edinburgh, which is considered in a paper by Jackson et al. (2015) to be a specimen of the extinct R eunion Parakeet Psittacula eques eques (Boddaert, 1783). They suggest that with the available information, its provenance cannot be ascribed with any certainty and it is most likely, on the basis of probability, to be from Mauritius, although they do not exclude the possibility that the parakeet comes from R eunion, the neighbouring island of Mauritius. The provenance and identity of this specimen has previously been questioned (Jones 1987, Hume 2007, Hume & Walters 2012), with the possibility that it may be a Mauritius Parakeet Psittacula eques echo. Since these accounts were written, more work conducted on Psittacula parakeets of the Indian Ocean Islands indicates that the Edinburgh specimen is a R eunion Parakeet, and Cheke and Jansen (2016) would have been unaware of some of this work.
    • Parallel Evolution of Complex Centipede Venoms Revealed by Comparative Proteotranscriptomic Analyses

      Jenner, RA; von Reumont, BM; Campbell, LI; Undheim, EAB (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-08-08)
      Centipedes are among the most ancient groups of venomous predatory arthropods. Extant species belong to five orders, but our understanding of the composition and evolution of centipede venoms is based almost exclusively on one order, Scolopendromorpha. To gain a broader and less biased understanding we performed a comparative proteotranscriptomic analysis of centipede venoms from all five orders, including the first venom profiles for the orders Lithobiomorpha, Craterostigmomorpha, and Geophilomorpha. Our results reveal an astonishing structural diversity of venom components, with 93 phylogenetically distinct protein and peptide families. Proteomically-annotated gene trees of these putative toxin families show that centipede venom composition is highly dynamic across macroevolutionary timescales, with numerous gene duplications as well as functional recruitments and losses of toxin gene families. Strikingly, not a single family is found in the venoms of representatives of all five orders, with 67 families being unique for single orders. Ancestral state reconstructions reveal that centipede venom originated as a simple cocktail comprising just four toxin families, with very little compositional evolution happening during the approximately 50 My before the living orders had diverged. Venom complexity then increased in parallel within the orders, with scolopendromorphs evolving particularly complex venoms. Our results show that even venoms composed of toxins evolving under the strong constraint of negative selection can have striking evolutionary plasticity on the compositional level. We show that the functional recruitments and losses of toxin families that shape centipede venom arsenals are not concentrated early in their evolutionary history, but happen frequently throughout.
    • Parasites lost: using natural history collections to track disease change across deep time

      Harmon, A; Littlewood, DTJ; Wood, CL (Ecological Society of America, 2019-03-04)
      Recent decades have brought countless outbreaks of infectious disease among wildlife. These events appear to be increasing in frequency and magnitude, but to objectively evaluate whether ecosystems are experiencing rising rates of disease, scientists require historical data on disease abundance. Specimens held in natural history collections represent a chronological archive of life on Earth and may, in many cases, be the only available source of data on historical disease patterns. It is possible to extract information on past disease rates by studying trace fossils (indirect fossilized evidence of an organism's presence or activity, including coprolites or feces), sequencing ancient DNA of parasites, and examining sediment samples, mummified remains, study skins (preserved animal skins prepared by taxidermy for research purposes), liquid‐preserved hosts, and hosts preserved in amber. Such use of natural history collections could expand scientific understanding of parasite responses to environmental change across deep time (that is, over the past several centuries), facilitating the development of baselines for managing contemporary wildlife disease.
    • Patterns and drivers of lichen species composition in a NW-European lowland deciduous woodland complex

      Wolseley, PA; Thüs, H; Eggleton, P; Sanderson, N; Carpenter, D (2017-02)
    • Patterns and Risk Factors of Helminthiasis and Anemia in a Rural and a Peri-urban Community in Zanzibar, in the Context of Helminth Control Programs

      Knopp, S; Mohammed, KA; Stothard, JR; Khamis, IS; Rollinson, D; Marti, H; Utzinger, J; Bethony, JM (2010-05-11)
    • Patterns of genetic diversity in three plant lineages endemic to the Cape Verde Islands

      Romeiras, MM; Monteiro, F; Duarte, MC; Schaefer, H; Carine, M (2015)
    • PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters

      Jepson, PD; Deaville, R; Barber, JL; Aguilar, A; Borrell, A; Murphy, S; Barry, J; Brownlow, A; Barnett, J; Berrow, S; et al. (2016-05)