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[dinosaur] Soft tissue preservation in Early Cretaceous (Aptian) crocodile from Brazil

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Grant J. Field & David M. Martill (2017)
Unusual soft tissue preservation in the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) crocodile cf. Susisuchus from the Crato Formation of north east Brazil.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2017.04.001

A new specimen of the neosuchian crocodylomorph, Susisuchus sp. from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of Ceará, North East Brazil is remarkable for extensive preservation of the epidermis and limb musculature. The specimen comprises incomplete post-cranial remains, including an articulated sequence of thirteen thoracic vertebrae, a disarticulated pair of lumbar vertebrae and all four limbs articulated in varying degrees of completeness but divorced from the axial skeleton. Soft tissues are preserved in two distinct modes, in close association with the skeletal remains. An external mould of the dorsolateral scales of the trunk extends over a bedding plane surface while mineralisation of soft tissues preserving the musculature surrounds the left forelimb. Soft tissue preservation is extremely rare in crocodylomorphs and this is only the second report of soft tissue preservation in a crocodilian from the Crato Formation.