Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mummified Dinosaur Skin Yields Up New Secrets

Date:
July 8, 2009
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Scientists have identified preserved organic molecules in the skin of a dinosaur that died around 66-million years ago.

Microprobe image of silicon distribution in a tendon from Dakota.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Manchester

Scientists from The University of Manchester have identified preserved organic molecules in the skin of a dinosaur that died around 66-million years ago.

Related Articles


The well-preserved fossil of the plant-eating hadrosaur – known as ‘Dakota’ – has been analysed by researchers writing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The team report how the fossil's soft tissues were spared from decay by fine sediments that formed a mineral cast.

A wide range of tests have shown that the fossil still holds cell-like structures, although the constituent proteins have decayed.

Advanced imaging and chemical techniques have revealed that the mummified duckbilled dinosaur had two layers of skin – just like the skin of modern birds and reptiles, which scientists believe are closely related to duckbilled dinosaurs.

They believe the hippo-sized Dakota fell into a watery grave, with little oxygen present to speed along the decay process. Meanwhile, very fine sediments reacted with the soft tissues of the animal, forming a kind of cement.

As a result, the 66 million-year-old fossil still retains some of the organic matter of the original dinosaur, mixed in with the minerals.

"You're looking at cell-like structures; you slice through this and you're looking at the cell structure of dinosaur skin,” said Dr Phil Manning, Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology & Research Fellow School of Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences (SEAES). “That is absolutely gobsmacking."

The Manchester research team comprised Dr Phil Manning (SEAES and Manchester Museum), Peter Morris (SEAES and the Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science), Adam McMahon and Emrys Jones (Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre), Andy Gize and Joe Macquaker (SEAES), Prof Simon Gaskell and Onrapak Reamtong (Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre), Dr Bill Sellers (Faculty of Life Science), Bart van Dongen (SEAES and Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science), Mike Buckley and Dr Roy Wogelius (SEAES and Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science)

Scientists at The University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitain University, Yale University and The University of York also took part in the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Mummified Dinosaur Skin Yields Up New Secrets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707203728.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2009, July 8). Mummified Dinosaur Skin Yields Up New Secrets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707203728.htm
University of Manchester. "Mummified Dinosaur Skin Yields Up New Secrets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707203728.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Amphipolis Tomb Architraves Reveal Faces

Amphipolis Tomb Architraves Reveal Faces

AFP (Nov. 22, 2014) — Faces in an area of mosaics is the latest find by archaeologists at a recently discovered tomb dating back to fourth century BC and the time of Alexander the Great in Greece. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Returns Looted Artifacts to Thailand

US Returns Looted Artifacts to Thailand

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) — The United States has returns over 500 vases, bowls, axes, and other ancient artifacts mostly from the Ban Chiang archaeological site which were illegally looted from Thailand decades ago. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Search Through Every Public Tweet Sent Since 2006

How To Search Through Every Public Tweet Sent Since 2006

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) — Twitter has announced improvements to its search index that allow users to search through every public tweet sent since its inception in 2006. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Unlocks the Mystery of Paintings

Professor Unlocks the Mystery of Paintings

AP (Nov. 19, 2014) — Richard Johnson, a computer and engineering professor at Cornell University, is using technology to uncover mysteries about the age and authenticity of historic paintings by artists like Johannes Vermeer and Vincent Van Gogh. (Nov. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins