A tardigrade in Dominican amber.

Published on Oct 13, 2021in Proceedings of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences5.349
· DOI :10.1098/RSPB.2021.1760
Marc A. Mapalo3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Harvard University),
Ninon Robin (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)+ 2 AuthorsPhillip Barden9
Estimated H-index: 9
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
Sources
Abstract
Tardigrades are a diverse group of charismatic microscopic invertebrates that are best known for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Despite their long evolutionary history and global distribution in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, the tardigrade fossil record is exceedingly sparse. Molecular clocks estimate that tardigrades diverged from other panarthropod lineages before the Cambrian, but only two definitive crown-group representatives have been described to date, both from Cretaceous fossil deposits in North America. Here, we report a third fossil tardigrade from Miocene age Dominican amber. Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus gen. et sp. nov. is the first unambiguous fossil representative of the diverse superfamily Isohypsibioidea, as well as the first tardigrade fossil described from the Cenozoic. We propose that the patchy tardigrade fossil record can be explained by the preferential preservation of these microinvertebrates as amber inclusions, coupled with the scarcity of fossiliferous amber deposits before the Cretaceous.
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An updated and extensively revised checklist of the arthropods of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) is presented 11 years after the publication of the original in 2008. It integrates and quantifies all the terrestrial and surrounding marine arthropod species (plus those of Tardigrada and Onychophora), reported in the zoological literature for Hispaniola through the middle of 2019. A total of 9,920 valid species (8,202 extant and 1,718 fossil) are listed, which represents an increase of 1...
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JAE/DOC Program, Grant/Award Number: JAE-DOC 2009-2012; European Marie Curie, Grant/Award Number: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-RG and PERG07-GA-2010-268289 ; Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas; FP7
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Amber is fossilised plant resin. It can be used to provide insights into the terrestrial conditions at the time the original resin was exuded. Amber research thus can inform many aspects of palaeontology, from the recovery and description of enclosed fossil organisms (biological inclusions) to attempts at reconstruction of past climates and environments. Here we focus on the resin itself, the conditions under which it may have been exuded, and its potential path to fossilisation, rather than on ...
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