[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

News Flash AP



Hello all,

The following is an article as it appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------start
RARE FOSSIL RECORDS SKIN OF DINOSAUR

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

For years, it was just another pockmarked rock. Now scientist say an
extraordinary dinosaur skin fossil is letting them reach back 70 million
years.

The fossilized impression of a duck-billed dinosaur's skin was discoverd
five years ago by a graduate student studying rocks near Deming in southern
New Mexico.

It was only last year, however, that reaserachers began to suspect the
10-foot-long, 2-foot-wide textured rock was not just fossilized tree bark.

"It's so weird that as a trained paleontologist I didn't know what the hell
it was for five years," said Spencer Lucas, who works at the New Mexico
Museum of Natural History and Science, which announced the discovery
Wednsday.

The fossil allows scientist to examine, and even touch, an inpression of
the skin of one of the massive beasts.

The texture resembles a mountain bike tire - rough, thick and bumpy, with
somewhat symmetrical clumps of little crimped-edged knobs.

It is one of only about a dozen duck-billed dinosaur skin impressions
discovered worldwide, said geologist Brian Anderson of Phoenix, a renowned
dinosaur skin expert.

Scientist haven't yet tried to dig deeper at the site to see if any more of
the fossil is there, but they hope the site will give them clues to how
tissue such as skin can be fossilized.

Museum director Rick Smarrt said a piece of the fossil will be put on
display, and visitors will be able to stroke a rubber replica.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------end

That's all that was printed

Roger A. Stephenson
rstephen@cswnet.com