Placodonts were some of the most resilient groups of Triassic marine reptiles, consistently surviving minor extinction events with minimal diversity loss until the mass extinction.

In one timeline, this did not happen. Instead, their diversity would continue, in some ways replacing the turtles from our timeline.

The Mesozoic reccord of placodonts is relatively stable. Their diversity remains mostly consistent in spite of several other extinction events affecting other marine reptiles (such as thalattosaurs, phytosaurs and pleurosaurs), there being two major spikes of diversity: in the early Jurassic and late Cretaceous.

Soon after the TJ extinction event, Placochelyidae increases significantly in…


Moments between Chase Hunter and his father.

***

“Dad!”

Chase’s father barely had time to say “Hello there, champ!” before the otter collided with his dad, nuzzling deep in his embrace.

“How was school today?” the older otter asked, stroking his son’s face gently.

“It was okay. Leo met two other kids, Sydney and Flynn, and we got to hang out!”

“Wait, Flynn like Flynn Moore?” the older otter asked, “As in the gila?”

“Yeah I guess” Chase replied sheepishly.

“So you’re hanging out with the mayor’s nephew” Chase’s father said in a playful deviousness, “though isn’t he a bit…


Phylogenetic tree of The Speculative Dinosaur Project’s Enantiornithes cladogram.

Long time readers will know that I contributed a lot to The Speculative Dinosaur Project’s Enantiornithes. Given my recent cladograms (themselves essentially slightly more complex versions of Mortimer 2019’s) I decided to map out Spec’s opposite bird clades given what we now know.

  • Overall the original scheme was rather prescient all things considered: a split between a clade composed of Avisauridae (and in some drafts ebergs) and another including most other taxa. …

As you may know, I’ve long argued for a complex, “not just azhdarchids and nyctosaurids” youngest pterosaur faunas. Well, with post-Cenomanian/Turonian ornithocheirids confirmed, it’s another prediction gone right.


An updated version of the cladogram I achieved with Mortimer et al 2019 methodology + additional enantiornithean characters (as well as taxa). “Martinavis” as before is polyphyletic, North American remains being Halimornis and South American remains being Elbretornis.


Various depctions of stem-monotremes. Clockwise: Kollikodon by Cerri Thomas, Steropodon (or “SPEropodon” as the artist puts it) by Joschua Knüppe and Teinolophos by paleozoografica. Kollikodon might be a haramiyidan instead according to more recent papers, so just pretend its some other australosphenidan if you want.

Of all non-therian mammals, monotremes naturally are the best understood and well known given that they survived to present times in the first place. Crown group monotremes are a full Cenozoic phenomenon as echidnas evolved very recently from a platypus-like ancestor, but there is an abundance of Mesozoic stem-monotremes (collectively known as the australosphenidans or australosphenidan grade mammals due to teeth superficially convergent with those of boreosphenidans) known from Australia, South America and Madagascar.

Traditionally, these animals are depicted as platypus like, but it has since been found that at least Teinolophos (and likely all other Mesozoic stem monotremes) did…


“Surprise, bitch!” everyone shouts as Murdoch walked into the room.

The poor fox still has tear crusts in his fur after waiting all day for his father, mother and Holly to wish him a happy birthday, but it seems all he gave up for them was never enough. His mother did talk to him… to criticise him once more. It was the last straw, and as the sun dipped in the horizon he had a mental breakdown, hiccuping wildly up to the moment Nik and Sam had greeted him at their home.

“Are you okay?” Sam had asked, hugging him…

Carlos Albuquerque

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store