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Fossilized theropod soft tissue



>From Phillip Bigelow on sci.bio.paleontology:

"Thought the group may be interested in this:

I don't know how I missed this during the first going-over, but it pays
to scan stuff a second time!

In scientific correspondence to the journal _Nature_, paleontologist
Alexander Kellner, PhD (now at the American Museum of Natural History)
reported on a small non-avian theropod dinosaur (possible maniraptoran
affinities) with "extremely well-preserved soft tissue, including muscle
fibers." Kellner wrote that the  specimen was preserved in a calcareous
concretion.
  Phosphatized  epidermis (skin) was reported as "mostly irregular
quadrangles bordered by deep grooves, presenting a criss-cross pattern.
No evidence was found of any structure covering the skin, such as dermal
ossicles, scales, or feathers, which should be preserved if they were
originally present."
 Muscle fibers  (phosphatized),and rod-like structures that could
represent mineralized blood vessels were also described and SEM photos
were included of the structures in  question.  Unfortunately, no photos
of the  maniraptor's fossilized skin were provided.  Nor was the
absolute size of this "small" theropod  mentioned.  Interesting paper
though.

 Kellner, A. 1996. Fossilized theropod soft tissue.
                   Nature 379(4):32."

cnedin@geology.adelaide.edu.au                  nedin@ediacara.org
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Many say it was a mistake to come down from the trees, some say
the move out of the oceans was a bad idea. Me, I say the stiffening
of the notochord in the Cambrian was where it all went wrong,
it was all downhill from there.