Cleveland, OH, United States
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Cameron S.L.,Queensland University of Technology | Lo N.,University of Sydney | Bourguignon T.,Hokkaido University | Svenson G.J.,University Circle | Evans T.A.,National University of Singapore
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2012

Despite their ecological significance as decomposers and their evolutionary significance as the most speciose eusocial insect group outside the Hymenoptera, termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae or Isoptera) evolutionary relationships have yet to be well resolved. Previous morphological and molecular analyses strongly conflict at the family level and are marked by poor support for backbone nodes. A mitochondrial (mt) genome phylogeny of termites was produced to test relationships between the recognised termite families, improve nodal support and test the phylogenetic utility of rare genomic changes found in the termite mt genome. Complete mt genomes were sequenced for 7 of the 9 extant termite families with additional representatives of each of the two most speciose families Rhinotermitidae (3 of 7 subfamilies) and Termitidae (3 of 8 subfamilies). The mt genome of the well supported sister-group of termites, the subsocial cockroach Cryptocercus, was also sequenced. A highly supported tree of termite relationships was produced by all analytical methods and data treatment approaches, however the relationship of the termites + Cryptocercus clade to other cockroach lineages was highly affected by the strong nucleotide compositional bias found in termites relative to other dictyopterans. The phylogeny supports previously proposed suprafamilial termite lineages, the Euisoptera and Neoisoptera, a later derived Kalotermitidae as sister group of the Neoisoptera and a monophyletic clade of dampwood (Stolotermitidae, Archotermopsidae) and harvester termites (Hodotermitidae). In contrast to previous termite phylogenetic studies, nodal supports were very high for family-level relationships within termites. Two rare genomic changes in the mt genome control region were found to be molecular synapomorphies for major clades. An elongated stem-loop structure defined the clade Polyphagidae + (Cryptocercus+. termites), and a further series of compensatory base changes in this stem-loop is synapomorphic for the Neoisoptera. The complicated repeat structures first identified in Reticulitermes, composed of short (A-type) and long (B-type repeats) defines the clade Heterotermitinae + Termitidae, while the secondary loss of A-type repeats is synapomorphic for the non-macrotermitine Termitidae. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

News Article | September 3, 2016

The Cleveland Heights, Ohio–based car dealership Motorcars Honda was named the first carbon-neutral automotive dealership anywhere in the world at a recent awards ceremony in the city, according to a new press release. The new “Carbon Neutral Award” status was granted by British Petroleum (BP), ironically, at an event “for more than 5,000 residents and businesses at Wade Oval in University Circle.” What has Motorcars Honda done to date to deserve such a distinction? Apparently, it installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels as well as “LG VRF systems heating/cooling system, and LED lighting fixtures,” amongst other things. “We are eliminating the carbon footprint for every new & used cars sold, all of our employees cars, parts truck, rental cars, shuttle van, and the owners personal travel tied to work,” stated Trevor Gile, Managing Partner at Motorcars Honda. “Five years ago, we never thought that we would be going down this path, but as our employees became more involved and concerned with the environment, we started to learn about some of the various options available to help.” Here’s some background on the dealership: “Motorcars Honda is an automotive dealership in Cleveland Heights, OH. Founded in 1971. Motorcars Honda has received many awards including Honda’s Environmental Leadership Platinum Award — 1 of only 10 dealers in the country to win this award, Winner of 2015 Ohio Business of the Year (Green Energy of Ohio), Winner of 2016’s “Dealer of the Year” for Ohio (DealerRater) and ranked top 100 dealerships to work for in America (Automotive News), just to name a few.” It’s hard to believe this is the first carbon-neutral car dealership in the world, but I guess that also makes a bit of sense.   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.   James Ayre 's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

News Article | November 3, 2016

CLEVELAND, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The Music Settlement (TMS) at University Circle announced its new President & CEO: Geralyn 'Geri' Presti, who is returning to TMS after an extraordinary tenure at Forest City Realty Trust, Inc. (previously Forest City Enterprises), where...

Pocknall D.T.,Hess Corporation | Jarzen D.M.,University Circle
Palynology | Year: 2012

Grimsdalea magnaclavata was first described by Germeraad, Hopping and Muller from Miocene and Pliocene deposits of northern South America, specifically Colombia and Venezuela. The specific epithet, magnaclavata', was selected by the authors to draw attention to the distinctive clavate processes of the pollen. A revised taxonomic description is supported by illustrations of fossil specimens from outcrop and well sections that show the range in morphology not previously recorded in the original description; the key difference is the wide variation in process morphology from clavae to clavae with interspersed echinae. Based on the new observations of the pollen morphology we conclude that the records from Cretaceous and Paleogene sediments in North and West Africa are invalid. G. magnaclavata is clearly restricted to northern South America from the Miocene to Pleistocene. The parent plant of G. magnaclavata probably grew in upper coastal plain or around swamps, commonly associated with shrubs and herbaceous savannah plants. The botanical affinity of G. magnaclavata has always been in question. Based on a review of pollen from several palm genera presently extant in northern South America we consider that the nearest living relatives, if indeed G. magnaclavata is an ancient palm, are the genera Mauritia and Mauritiella. The basis for this conclusion is the distinctive foot layer morphology of the processes in the fossil and the modern examples. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Evans D.C.,Royal Ontario Museum | Evans D.C.,University of Toronto | Schott R.K.,University of Toronto | Larson D.W.,University of Toronto | And 3 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Taphonomic biases dictate how organisms are represented in the fossil record, but their effect on studies of vertebrate diversity dynamics is poorly studied. In contrast to the high diversity and abundance of small-bodied animals in extant ecosystems, small-bodied dinosaurs are less common than their large-bodied counterparts, but it is unclear whether this reflects unique properties of dinosaurian ecosystems or relates to taphonomic biases. A new, fully domed pachycephalosaurid dinosaur, Acrotholus audeti, from the Santonian of Alberta predates incompletely domed taxa, and provides important new information on pachycephalosaur evolution and the completeness of the ornithischian fossil record. Here we provide the first empirical evidence that the diversity of small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs is strongly underestimated based on ghost lineages and the high proportion of robust and diagnostic frontoparietal domes compared with other pachycephalosaur fossils. This suggests preservational biases have a confounding role in attempts to decipher vertebrate palaeoecology and diversity dynamics through the Mesozoic. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Ryan M.J.,University Circle | Evans D.C.,Royal Ontario Museum | Evans D.C.,University of Toronto | Shepherd K.M.,Canadian Museum of Nature
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2012

Xenoceratops foremostensis gen. et. sp. nov., a new centrosaurine ceratopsid from the Foremost Formation (Campanian) of Alberta, is described based on frill material from at least three adult-sized individuals collected from a low-density bone bed. The material can be assigned to Centrosaurinae based on features of the preserved squamosal. Although the parietals are incomplete, the shape of the diagnostic parietal can be inferred from several overlapping serial elements. The parietal of the new taxon shares with all other centrosaurines, except Centrosaurus apertus, spike-like ornamentation at the posterolateral (P3) locus under traditional coding methods. At approximately 78 Ma, it is the oldest known Canadian ceratopsid, approximately 0.5 Ma older than Albertaceratops from the lower Oldman Formation of Canada and approximately 1.0 Ma younger than Diabloceratops from the Wahweap Formation of Utah. A phylogenetic analysis resolves the new taxon as the basalmost centrosaurine and places Centrosaurus brinkmani as the sister taxon to Styracosaurus albertensis. The type species of Centrosaurus brinkmani is moved to a new genus.

Mallon J.C.,University of Calgary | Mallon J.C.,Canadian Museum of Nature | Evans D.C.,Royal Ontario Museum | Ryan M.J.,University Circle | Anderson J.S.,University of Calgary
BMC Ecology | Year: 2013

Background: Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the most frequently invoked. However, despite its wide acceptance, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. This study uses the fossil assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta as a model to investigate whether niche partitioning facilitated herbivorous dinosaur coexistence on Laramidia. Specifically, the question of feeding height stratification is examined in light of the role it plays in facilitating modern ungulate coexistence.Results: Most herbivorous dinosaur species from the Dinosaur Park Formation were restricted to feeding no higher than approximately 1 m above the ground. There is minimal evidence for feeding height partitioning at this level, with ceratopsids capable of feeding slightly higher than ankylosaurs, but the ecological significance of this is ambiguous. Hadrosaurids were uniquely capable of feeding up to 2 m quadrupedally, or up to 5 m bipedally. There is no evidence for either feeding height stratification within any of these clades, or for change in these ecological relationships through the approximately 1.5 Ma record of the Dinosaur Park Formation.Conclusions: Although we cannot reject the possibility, we find no good evidence that feeding height stratification, as revealed by reconstructed maximum feeding heights, played an important role in facilitating niche partitioning among the herbivorous dinosaurs of Laramidia. Most browsing pressure was concentrated in the herb layer, although hadrosaurids were capable of reaching shrubs and low-growing trees that were out of reach from ceratopsids, ankylosaurs, and other small herbivores, effectively dividing the herbivores in terms of relative abundance. Sympatric hadrosaurids may have avoided competing with one another by feeding differentially using bipedal and quadrupedal postures. These ecological relationships evidently proved to be evolutionarily stable because they characterize the herbivore assemblage of the Dinosaur Park Formation through time. If niche partitioning served to facilitate the rich diversity of these animals, it may have been achieved by other means in addition to feeding height stratification. Consideration of other feeding height proxies, including dental microwear and skull morphology, may help to alleviate problems of underdetermination identified here. © 2013 Mallon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Mallon J.C.,University of Calgary | Evans D.C.,Royal Ontario Museum | Ryan M.J.,University Circle | Anderson J.S.,University of Calgary
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2012

Ongoing research into the biostratigraphy of the upper Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation (DPF) of Alberta has demonstrated that megaherbivorous dinosaur taxa (ankylosaurs, ceratopsids, hadrosaurids) are not homogeneously distributed throughout the unit. This has compelled proposals of different, informal assemblage zone schemes, and the hypothesis that faunal turnover was driven by environmental change associated with marine transgression. The current study tests previous zonation schemes in addition to the hypothesis of turnover pulses in the DPF. Clustering and ordination methods are used to demonstrate the existence of two broad assemblage zones within the DPF, each of which lasted ~. 600. Ka: a lower zone characterized by the presence of the ceratopsid Centrosaurus apertus and the hadrosaurids Corythosaurus, and an upper zone characterized by the presence of the ceratopsid Styracosaurus albertensis and the hadrosaurid Prosaurolophus maximus. These zones can be further sub-divided, based on the distributions of rarer or shorter-lived ankylosaur, ceratopsid, and hadrosaurid species, into ~. 300. Ka sub-zones. Canonical correspondence analysis is used to explore the association between the turnover of the megaherbivorous dinosaurs and various palaeoevironmental proxies. Megaherbivorous dinosaur turnover most closely corresponds to that of fossil palynomorphs. However, none of the palaeoenvironmental proxies explains dinosaur distribution better than a simple time gradient, suggesting that dinosaur turnover was not inextricably linked to environmental change as predicted by the turnover pulse hypothesis. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Mallon J.C.,University of Calgary | Holmes R.,University of Alberta | Eberth D.A.,Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology | Ryan M.J.,University Circle | Anderson J.S.,University of Calgary
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology | Year: 2011

Anchiceratops is a chasmosaurine ceratopsid from the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation (HCF) of Alberta. It is distinguished primarily by its unique parietosquamosal frill ornamentation and possibly by the presence of a ventrally flexed olfactory bulb of the brain. Although Anchiceratops is known from at least ten partial skulls, only two of these have been formally described. These skulls are not stratigraphically segregated, but they differ markedly in their proportions (e.g., supraorbital horncore and frill dimensions), causing previous authors to account for this disparity with reference to either interspecific or sexual differences. Both of these hypotheses assume that variation in Anchiceratops is dimorphic; however, this assumption has never been tested with reference to all available material. The present study describes all material from the HCF that can be positively attributed to Anchiceratops, and tests the assumption of dimorphism by subjecting this material to a series of morphometric analyses. We find no compelling evidence for dimorphism in Anchiceratops, although sample size is still too small for convincing statistical support. We conclude that there is a single, variable species of Anchiceratops, A. ornatus. Average sedimentation rates for the HCF suggest that A. ornatus is a particularly long-lived species compared with other ceratopsids (1.5-2.0 Ma), and the paleoecological implications of this are discussed. A cladistic analysis that includes the new data presented here indicates that Anchiceratops is more closely related to Chasmosaurus than to Triceratops, in contrast with previous studies. © 2011 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Mallon J.C.,Canadian Museum of Nature | Ryan M.J.,University Circle | Campbell J.A.,University of Calgary
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2015

Disentangling ontogenetic from interspecific variation is key to understanding biodiversity in the fossil record, yet information on growth in the ceratopsid subfamily Chasmosaurinae is sparse. Here, we describe the partial skull of a juvenile chasmosaurine, attributed to Arrhinoceratops brachyops, within the context of more mature specimens of this species, to better understand the ontogenetic transformations therein. We show that as A. brachyops matured, the postorbital horncores became longer and shifted from a posterior to an anterior inclination, the delta-shaped frill epiossifications became lower and fused to the underlying frill, and the face became more elongate. In these respects, A. brachyops closely resembled Triceratops, suggesting that these ontogenetic changes may have been common to all long-horned chasmosaurines. However, an event-paired cladistic analysis of Chasmosaurinae using a standardized matrix of 24 developmental characters reveals that the relative timing of ontogenetic events in Arrhinoceratops was more like that of Chasmosaurus, particularly in the relatively late reduction in scalloping around the frill margins. Thus, the ontogenetic similarities between Arrhinoceratops and Triceratops appear to be plesiomorphic, partly related to the retention of the elongate postorbital horncores, which are primitive for Ceratopsidae. This study elucidates the otherwise contentious evolutionary relationships of Arrhinoceratops, and highlights the importance of ontogenetic data for resolving phylogenies when morphological data from adults alone are inadequate. © 2015 The Linnean Society of London.

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