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Tyrannosaurus

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Author Topic: Tyrannosaurus  (Read 2955 times)
Manetho
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2007, 01:40:48 pm »

Soft tissue

In the March 2005 issue of Science, Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and colleagues announced the recovery of soft tissue from the marrow cavity of a fossilized leg bone, from a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus. The bone had been intentionally, though reluctantly, broken for shipping and then not preserved in the normal manner, specifically because Schweitzer was hoping to test it for soft tissue. Designated as the Museum of the Rockies specimen 1125, or MOR 1125, the dinosaur was previously excavated from the Hell Creek Formation. Flexible, bifurcating blood vessels and fibrous but elastic bone matrix tissue were recognized. In addition, microstructures resembling blood cells were found inside the matrix and vessels. The structures bear resemblance to ostrich blood cells and vessels. Whether an unknown process, distinct from normal fossilization, preserved the material, or the material is original, the researchers do not know, and they are careful not to make any claims about preservation.[43] If it is found to be original material, any surviving proteins may be used as a means of indirectly guessing some of the DNA content of the dinosaurs involved, because each protein is typically created by a specific gene. The absence of previous finds may merely be the result of people assuming preserved tissue was impossible, therefore simply not looking. Since the first, two more tyrannosaurs and a hadrosaur have also been found to have such tissue-like structures.[44] Research on some of the tissues involved have suggested that birds are closer relatives to tyrannosaurs than other modern animals.[45]

In subsequent studies reported in the journal Science in April 2007, Asara and colleagues concluded that seven traces of proteins detected in purified T. rex bone most closely match those reported in chickens, followed by frogs and newts. The discovery of proteins from a creature tens of millions of years old, along with similar traces the team found in a mastodon bone at least 160,000 years old, upends the conventional view of fossils and may shift paleontologists' focus from bone hunting to biochemistry. Until these finds, most scientists presumed that fossilization replaced all living tissue with inert minerals. Paleontologist Hans Larsson of McGill University in Montreal, who was not part of the studies, called the finds "a milestone, and suggested that dinosaurs could "enter the field of molecular biology and really slingshot paleontology into the modern world."
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 01:43:08 pm by Manetho » Report Spam   Logged
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