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Toronto, Canada

The Royal Ontario Museum is a museum of world culture and natural history based in Toronto, Canada. It is one of the largest museums in North America, attracting over one million visitors every year. The museum is located north of Queen's Park, in the University of Toronto district, with its main entrance facing Bloor Street.Established on 16 April 1912 and opened on 19 March 1914, the museum has maintained close relations with the University of Toronto throughout its history, often sharing expertise and resources. The museum was under the direct control and management of the University of Toronto until 1968, when it became an independent institution. Today, the museum is Canada's largest field-research institution, with research and conservation activities that span the globe.With more than six million items and forty galleries, the museum's diverse collections of world culture and natural history are part of the reason for its international reputation. The museum contains notable collections of dinosaurs, minerals and meteorites, Near Eastern and African art, Art of East Asia, European history, and Canadian history. It also houses the world's largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens. The museum also contains an extensive collection of design and fine arts, including clothing, interior, and product design, especially Art Deco. Wikipedia.


Smith M.R.,University of Cambridge | Caron J.-B.,Royal Ontario Museum | Caron J.-B.,University of Toronto
Nature | Year: 2015

The molecularly defined clade Ecdysozoa comprises the panarthropods (Euarthropoda, Onychophora and Tardigrada) and the cycloneuralian worms (Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Priapulida, Loricifera and Kinorhyncha). These disparate phyla are united by their means of moulting, but otherwise share few morphological characters-none of which has a meaningful fossilization potential. As such, the early evolutionary history of the group as a whole is largely uncharted. Here we redescribe the 508-million-year-old stem-group onychophoran Hallucigenia sparsa from the mid-Cambrian Burgess Shale. We document an elongate head with a pair of simple eyes, a terminal buccal chamber containing a radial array of sclerotized elements, and a differentiated foregut that is lined with acicular teeth. The radial elements and pharyngeal teeth resemble the sclerotized circumoral elements and pharyngeal teeth expressed in tardigrades, stem-group euarthropods and cycloneuralian worms. Phylogenetic results indicate that equivalent structures characterized the ancestral panarthropod and, seemingly, the ancestral ecdysozoan, demonstrating the deep homology of panarthropod and cycloneuralian mouthparts, and providing an anatomical synapomorphy for the ecdysozoan supergroup. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Smith M.R.,University of Toronto | Smith M.R.,Royal Ontario Museum
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

The Middle Cambrian lophotrochozoans Odontogriphus omalus and Wiwaxia corrugata have been interpreted as stem-group members of either the Mollusca, the Annelida, or a group containing Mollusca + Annelida. The case for each classification rests on the organisms' unusual mouthparts, whose two to three tooth-rows resemble both the molluscan radula and the jaws of certain annelid worms. Despite their potential significance, these mouthparts have not previously been described in detail. This study examined the feeding apparatuses of over 300 specimens from the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale, many of which were studied for the first time. Rather than denticulate plates, each tooth row comprises a single axial tooth that is flanked on each side by eight to 16 separate shoehorn-shaped teeth. Tooth rows sat on a grooved basal tongue, and two large lobes flanked the apparatus. New observations-the shape, distribution and articulation of the individual teeth, and the mouthparts' mode of growth-are incompatible with an annelid interpretation, instead supporting a classification in Mollusca. The ancestral molluscan radula is best reconstructed as unipartite with a symmetrical medial tooth, and Odontogriphus and Wiwaxia as grazing deposit-feeders. © Department of Earth Sciences. Source


The well-sampled Late Cretaceous fossil record of North America remains the only high-resolution dataset for evaluating patterns of dinosaur diversity leading up to the terminal Cretaceous extinction event. Hadrosaurine hadrosaurids (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) closely related to Edmontosaurus are among the most common megaherbivores in latest Campanian and Maastrichtian deposits of western North America. However, interpretations of edmontosaur species richness and biostratigraphy have been in constant flux for almost three decades, although the clade is generally thought to have undergone a radiation in the late Maastrichtian. We address the issue of edmontosaur diversity for the first time using rigorous morphometric analyses of virtually all known complete edmontosaur skulls. Results suggest only two valid species, Edmontosaurus regalis from the late Campanian, and E. annectens from the late Maastrichtian, with previously named taxa, including the controversial Anatotitan copei, erected on hypothesized transitional morphologies associated with ontogenetic size increase and allometric growth. A revision of North American hadrosaurid taxa suggests a decrease in both hadrosaurid diversity and disparity from the early to late Maastrichtian, a pattern likely also present in ceratopsid dinosaurs. A decline in the disparity of dominant megaherbivores in the latest Maastrichtian interval supports the hypothesis that dinosaur diversity decreased immediately preceding the end Cretaceous extinction event. © 2011 Campione, Evans. Source


McNeill J.,Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | McNeill J.,Royal Ontario Museum
Taxon | Year: 2014

As specification of a holotype has only been necessary for valid publication of a name of a species or infraspecific taxon since 1 January 1990, for names published before that date it is often uncertain if a holotype exists, and, if it does, where it is located. The rules governing holotype recognition are outlined and suggestions for best practice are made. © International Association for P.ant Taxonomy (IAP.) 2014. Source


Campione N.E.,University of Toronto | Evans D.C.,Royal Ontario Museum
BMC Biology | Year: 2012

Background: Body size is intimately related to the physiology and ecology of an organism. Therefore, accurate and consistent body mass estimates are essential for inferring numerous aspects of paleobiology in extinct taxa, and investigating large-scale evolutionary and ecological patterns in the history of life. Scaling relationships between skeletal measurements and body mass in birds and mammals are commonly used to predict body mass in extinct members of these crown clades, but the applicability of these models for predicting mass in more distantly related stem taxa, such as non-avian dinosaurs and non-mammalian synapsids, has been criticized on biomechanical grounds. Here we test the major criticisms of scaling methods for estimating body mass using an extensive dataset of mammalian and non-avian reptilian species derived from individual skeletons with live weights.Results: Significant differences in the limb scaling of mammals and reptiles are noted in comparisons of limb proportions and limb length to body mass. Remarkably, however, the relationship between proximal (stylopodial) limb bone circumference and body mass is highly conserved in extant terrestrial mammals and reptiles, in spite of their disparate limb postures, gaits, and phylogenetic histories. As a result, we are able to conclusively reject the main criticisms of scaling methods that question the applicability of a universal scaling equation for estimating body mass in distantly related taxa.Conclusions: The conserved nature of the relationship between stylopodial circumference and body mass suggests that the minimum diaphyseal circumference of the major weight-bearing bones is only weakly influenced by the varied forces exerted on the limbs (that is, compression or torsion) and most strongly related to the mass of the animal. Our results, therefore, provide a much-needed, robust, phylogenetically corrected framework for accurate and consistent estimation of body mass in extinct terrestrial quadrupeds, which is important for a wide range of paleobiological studies (including growth rates, metabolism, and energetics) and meta-analyses of body size evolution. © 2012 Campione and Evans; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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