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Triceratops soft bone tissue from fossil supraorbital horn



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Mark Hollis Armitage & Kevin Lee Anderson (2013)
Soft sheets of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn
of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus.
Acta Histochemica (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acthis.2013.01.001
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065128113000020


Soft fibrillar bone tissues were obtained from a supraorbital horn of
Triceratops horridus collected at the Hell Creek Formation in Montana,
USA. Soft material was present in pre and post-decalcified bone. Horn
material yielded numerous small sheets of lamellar bone matrix. This
matrix possessed visible microstructures consistent with lamellar bone
osteocytes. Some sheets of soft tissue had multiple layers of intact
tissues with osteocyte-like structures featuring filipodial-like
interconnections and secondary branching. Both oblate and stellate
types of osteocyte-like cells were present in sheets of soft tissues
and exhibited organelle-like microstructures. SEM analysis yielded
osteocyte-like cells featuring filipodial extensions of 18-20 μm in
length. Filipodial extensions were delicate and showed no evidence of
any permineralization or crystallization artifact and therefore were
interpreted to be soft. This is the first report of sheets of soft
tissues from Triceratops horn bearing layers of osteocytes, and
extends the range and type of dinosaur specimens known to contain
non-fossilized material in bone matrix.