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Mammalian hairs in Early Cretaceous amber

Vullo, Girard, Azar & Neraudeas 2010. "Mammalian hairs in Early Cretaceous 
Naturwissenschaften. 10.1007/s00114-010-0677-8


Two mammalian hairs have been found in association with an empty puparium in a 
year-old amber (Early Cretaceous) from France. Although hair is known to be an 
ubiquitous feature in the crown Mammalia, the structure of Mesozoic hair has 
never been 
described. In contrast to fur and hair of some Jurassic and Cretaceous mammals 
preserved as 
carbonized filaments, the exceptional preservation of the fossils described 
here allows for the study 
of the cuticular structure. Results show the oldest direct evidence of hair 
with a modern scale 
pattern. This discovery implies that the morphology of hair cuticula may have 
remained unchanged 
throughout most of mammalian evolution. The association of these hairs with a 
possible fly 
puparium provides paleoecological information and indicates peculiar taphonomic 



Dann Pigdon
GIS Specialist                         Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj