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Dinosaur skin preservation

From: Ben Creisler

A new advance online paper:

Matt Davis (2012)
Census of dinosaur skin reveals lithology may not be the most
important factor in increased preservation of hadrosaurid skin.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2012.0077

A global census of published records of dinosaur skin from the
Mesozoic, cross-referenced against a more detailed lithological
dataset from the Maastrichtian of North America, clarifies why most
examples of fossilized dinosaur skin come from hadrosaurids. Globally,
more published specimens of hadrosaurids exhibit preserved skin than
any other major clade of dinosaur. North American Maastrichtian
hadrosaurid fossils are 31 times more likely to have skin preserved
than coeval dinosaur remains. This does not arise from collection
methodology, the large population size of hadrosaurids, or the gross
lithology of their depositional environment. The reason that so many
hadrosaurid fossils have skin is still elusive, but was likely
something intrinsic to hadrosaurids that originated early on in the
clade, perhaps the possession of tougher or thicker skin. The database
of published examples of fossilized dinosaur skin assembled here will
assist the continued development of a much needed common terminology
and taxonomic framework for dinosaur skin.