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New paper on sauropod eggshells
M.H. Schweitzer, L. Chiappe, A.C. Garrido, J.M. Lowenstein & S.H. Pincus.
2005. Molecular preservation in Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur eggshells.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 272
"Exceptionally preserved sauropod eggshells discovered in Upper Cretaceous
(Campanian) deposits in Patagonia, Argentina, contain skeletal remains and
soft tissues of embryonic Titanosaurid dinosaurs. To preserve these labile
embryonic remains, the rate of mineral precipitation must have superseded
post-mortem degradative processes, resulting in virtually instantaneous
mineralization of soft tissues. If so, mineralization may also have been
rapid enough to retain fragments of original biomolecules in these
specimens. To investigate preservation of biomolecular compounds in these
well-preserved sauropod dinosaur eggshells, we applied multiple analytical
techniques. Results demonstrate organic compounds and antigenic structures
similar to those found in extant eggshells."