There’s hardly ever time to put in writing about each cool science-y story that comes our approach. So this 12 months, we’re as soon as once more working a particular Twelve Days of Christmas collection of posts, highlighting one science story that fell via the cracks in 2022, every day from December 25 via January 5. At the moment: Why dinosaur “mummies” may not be as uncommon as scientists believed.
Beneath particular circumstances, dinosaur fossils can embody exceptionally well-preserved pores and skin—an prevalence lengthy regarded as uncommon. However the authors of an October paper printed within the journal PLoS ONE steered that these dinosaur “mummies” is likely to be extra frequent than beforehand believed, based mostly on their evaluation of a mummified duck-billed hadrosaur with well-preserved pores and skin that confirmed uncommon telltale indicators of scavenging within the type of chunk marks.
On this case, the time period “mummy” refers to fossils that with well-preserved pores and skin and generally different tender tissue. As we have reported beforehand, most fossils are bone, shells, enamel, and different types of “arduous” tissue, however sometimes uncommon fossils are found that protect tender tissues like pores and skin, muscle mass, organs, and even the occasional eyeball. This may inform scientists a lot about features of the biology, ecology, and evolution of such historical organisms that skeletons alone cannot convey.
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