Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland Pfalz

Mainz, Germany

Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland Pfalz

Mainz, Germany
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Botigue L.R.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Song S.,University of Michigan | Scheu A.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Scheu A.,Trinity College Dublin | And 13 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2017

Europe has played a major role in dog evolution, harbouring the oldest uncontested Palaeolithic remains and having been the centre of modern dog breed creation. Here we sequence the genomes of an Early and End Neolithic dog from Germany, including a sample associated with an early European farming community. Both dogs demonstrate continuity with each other and predominantly share ancestry with modern European dogs, contradicting a previously suggested Late Neolithic population replacement. We find no genetic evidence to support the recent hypothesis proposing dual origins of dog domestication. By calibrating the mutation rate using our oldest dog, we narrow the timing of dog domestication to 20,000-40,000 years ago. Interestingly, we do not observe the extreme copy number expansion of the AMY2B gene characteristic of modern dogs that has previously been proposed as an adaptation to a starch-rich diet driven by the widespread adoption of agriculture in the Neolithic. © The Author(s) 2017.

A new Lower Devonian (uppermost Lower Emsian) locality in the Mosel Syncline of the Rhenish Massif yielding abundant fertile plant material is introduced. In addition to few faunal elements, the fossil association from the Aspel Creek Valley near Niederfell/Moselle (Hunsrück) apparently comprises only a single plant species. This plant is characterized by a high number of terminally inserted sporangia attached in pairs to ribbon-like, compressed, naked axes, which bifurcate several times. Frequently a vascular strand is visible. The comparatively large fusiform, long oval or cigar-shaped sporangia often show an erect stand. The tips of the two sporangia of a pair are twisted around each other. The new material is tentatively designated as Taeniocrada longisporangiata. This would constitute the stratigraphically youngest of the hitherto documented occurrences of this plant.

De Baets K.,University of Zürich | Klug C.,University of Zürich | Korn D.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Bartels C.,Deutsches Bergbau Museum | Poschmann M.,Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland Pfalz
Palaeontographica, Abteilung A: Palaozoologie - Stratigraphie | Year: 2013

The ammonoids from the well-studied German Fossillagerstätte of the Hunsrück Slate have the reputation of being the oldest known representatives of this cephalopod group. This material is of great interest not only because of the global scarcity of the earliest ammonoids, but also because it includes the first record of stratigraphically-controlled specimens, which could be assigned to the middle Kaub Formation in the Bundenbach/Gemünden area. Accordingly, some of the Hunsrück Slate ammonoids are indeed the stratigraphically oldest ammonoids because they are associated with the index dacryoconarid Nowakia praecursor and thus derive from the Nowakia zlichovensis Biozone of the early Emsian (Zlíchovian), while younger dacryoconarids and other ammonoid samples (Mimagoniatites fecundus, Mimosphinctes tripartitus) indicate the Nowakia barrandei to N. elegans biozones. In spite of this special importance, these Early Devonian cephalopods have never been revised comprehensively.Our study includesmore than 300Hunsrück Slate specimens from both public and private collections. For the first time, ammonoids from the Altlay Hunsrück Slate in the Northern Hunsrück/Mosel region are reported, while all the materials from older collections derive from the middle Kaub Formation of the Central Hunsrück Basin (central Hunsrück, Taunus). These early ammonoids thus prove to be a valuable source of information for biostratigraphic correlation within the Hunsrück Slate and with early Emsian occurrences in other regions. Based on conch characters (geometry, ornament, suture lines) and ontogenetic traits, we describe the species Metabactrites fuchsi n. sp., Ivoites hunsrueckianus (Erben 1960), Ivoites schindewolfi n. sp., ?Ivoites sp., Ivoites opitzi n. sp., Anetoceras mittmeyeri n. sp., Erbenoceras advolvens (Erben 1960), Erbenoceras solitarium (Barrande 1865), Chebbites sp., Mimosphinctes primigenitus (Erben 1965), Mimosphinctes tripartitus Eichenberg, 1931, Gyroceratites heinricherbeni n. sp., ?Teicherticeras sp., and Mimagoniatites fecundus (Barrande 1865). Supposedly endemic species of the Hunsrück Slate such as Anetoceras recticostatum Erben, 1962 and Mimagoniatites falcistria (Fuchs 1915) are here synonymized with the widely distributed species Erbenoceras solitarium and Mimagoniatites fecundus, both known to occur also outside Europe. Furthermore, we studied their taphonomy and assigned them to sevengroups of preservation.Theresults of this taphonomic study corroborate previous interpretations of the depositional environment and diagenesis. We also discuss the evolution of the shell in the earliest ammonoids and their closest relatives as well as structures (Opitzian pits) possibly caused by parasitic infestations of these early Emsian ammonoids. © 2013 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.

Zeeb-Lanz A.,Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland Pfalz
Biologie in Unserer Zeit | Year: 2014

Extreme rituals including anthropophagy In a settlement of the early Neolithic in Herxheim (South Palatinate) the manipulated remains of more than 500 human individuals were detected during excavations in an enclosure surrounding the settlement of the earliest farmers in this region; the human skeleton elements date to the time around 5000 B.C. Meticulous examinations of the in most cases extremely smashed bones yielded cut marks in significant places, comparable to similar traces on butchered animals. This observation and further evidence on the bone material brought forth the interpretation of ritual cannibalism in the frame of an hitherto unknown ceremony - an inimitable situation for prehistory so far. Luxury ceramic, precious stone tools and grinding stones - all of them intentionally destroyed - amplify the spectrum of findings, emphasizing the highly ritual character of the mysterious actions that took place in Herxheim 7000 years ago. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Poschmann M.,Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland Pfalz
Palaontologische Zeitschrift | Year: 2015

Corkscrew-shaped horizontal burrows are reported from the Rhenish Lower Devonian (Upper Emsian) of the Lower Mosel area. The trace fossils most probably represent dwelling burrows of vermiform organisms and are attributed to the ichnotaxon Helicodromites aff. mobilis Berger, 1957. The palaeoenvironmental setting of this occurrence is briefly discussed, and a shallow-marine, storm-influenced deposit is inferred. All spirally coiled trace fossils with a horizontal longitudinal axis are briefly compared to Helicodromites. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Schwermann A.H.,University of Bonn | Wuttke M.,Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland Pfalz | Schultz J.A.,University of Bonn
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2012

Fossil vertebrate skeletons from subaquatic sediments display a melange of decomposition processes, compaction and diagenesis, which have to be discriminated for a detailed taphonomic analysis. The sequence of decomposition and disarticulation of skeletal elements is controlled intrinsically by the different resistances of soft tissues to decay, as well as extrinsically by temperature and oxygen availability. Water pressure has a significant influence on the extent of bloating caused by gases of putrefaction. Bloated carcasses float at the surface, or can refloat from the bottom of the water body (depending on the water pressure), where they can be moved by currents or wind. During the last decade, forensic radiographic examinations by computed tomography (CT; Virtopsy) have evolved into a new approach for actuopalaeontological experiments, which allow a continuous insight into the decay process. In order to elucidate the taphonomy of the apatemyid mammal Heterohyus, we investigated the controlled decay of a dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) carcass in detail, using high-resolution micro-CT. Taphonomic study of a fossil specimen of a Heterohyus nanus from Messel revealed that decomposition came to a premature halt, as indicated by the disarticulation sequence of the skeletal elements, which stopped after a while. Little information is available about internal decay processes affecting the coherence of the skeletal system. The results of the actualistic study were compared with the state of disarticulation of the fossil apatomyid. The combination of different indicators of the decomposition process, the lack of skeletal disintegration in Heterohyus and palaeo-environmental data lead to the assumption that Heterohyus went through an adipocere forming phase before embedding. © 2012 Senckenberg, Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer.

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