Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Dinosaur fossil investigation unlocks possible soft tissue treasure trove

Date:  June 9, 2015

Source:  Imperial College London

Summary:  Scientists have found remnants that have some similarities to red blood cells and collagen fibres in fragments of dinosaur fossils.

The team from Imperial College London have detected what look like soft tissue remnants in the fragments of 75 million year old dinosaur fossils even though the fossils are poorly preserved. Scientists have previously only found soft tissue in dinosaur fossils that have been exceptionally well preserved, which are very rare and far fewer in number.

The researchers suggest their study, published today in Nature Communications, may cause palaeontologists to rethink how fossils are preserved, and may be the first step towards a better understanding of the biology of dinosaurs and the relationships between different species.

In the study, the team analysed eight fossil fragments that have for more than a century been in the Natural History Museum's Sternberg and Cutler collections.

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