Introduction to the special issue on New advances on stratigraphy and paleontology in Taiwan

Abstract

Despite the long tradition of studies, there are excellent potentials for research in Taiwan due to emerging techniques and innovative approaches. On the other hand, breakthroughs in DNA sequencing technology have revolutionized our life, and paleontologists can also benefit from the interdisciplinary cooperation to shed light on the phylogeny and development of fossil species through investigating extant sister species. Moreover, unstudied new fossils have been collected and accumulated over the years in Taiwan. New studies attaining higher resolution on the spatiotemporal dynamics of past faunas have provided insights into past biodiversity patterns. In this special issue, a new fossil wood from Taiwan is officially named. The oldest known fossil coral from Taiwan is reported. New fossil records of Sinaechinocyamus mai (Wang, 1984) are documented. Phylogenomics of living sand dollars (Echinodermata; Echinoidea) based on transcriptome with the inclusion of S. mai is discussed. Stereomic microstructures of the first Taiwan fossil echinoid Scaphechinus mirabilis A. Agassiz, 1864 are illustrated. Incomplete keyholed sand dollars can be distinguished at the generic level based on landmark analyses. Mophometrics provides a new approach to explain the circular outlines were achieved independently in distantly related lineages of sand dollars. Non-boring type fossil bivalves buried in situ from Taiwan is documented here for the first time.

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