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Re: More soft tissue references

Dora Smith (villandra@austin.rr.com) wrote:

<I am interested in how the tissues were kept int his state of preservation -
but I am quite sure they did not form recently!>

  While at first this may seem extraordinary preservation, Mary first uncovered
this by seeing an unusual coloration on a section of tyrannosaur bone, which
she then analyzed more closely, resulting in the current study. In the paper,
she notes how she looked at other fossils, including the Wankel rex and "Sue,"
and found the tissues present there as well, except the resolution of detail
was more profound and ubiquitous in Sue and the first specimen she tested, than
in the Wankel rex. This means that the tissues may be more prevalent than
realized because no one has explicitly tested for them. I beleive she has also
looked at a hadrosdaur fossil and found similar traces, so the material
preservation, while known currently from latest Maastrichtian time in the Hell
Creek Formation, is not confined to either *Tyrannosaurus rex* or even

  There is another, fuller paper in prep by the authors, so I am sure Mary's
typical thouroughness will reveal itself in how prevalent the material is. This
could also mean that even shattered bone fragements can be scientifically
important, if they could preserve such material. The bone Mary found this on
was a less-than-explary preserved femur, but bone shards can theoretically all
preserve as much detail (my own personal conjecture, not Mary's).


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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