A Scientist Who Studies The Fossilized Remains Of Ancient Animals Ancient Duck-Billed Dinosaur Femur Reveals Dinosaur Proteins

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Ancient Duck-Billed Dinosaur Femur Reveals Dinosaur Proteins

Scientists claim to have isolated preserved dinosaur blood and proteins

The fossilized femur of a duck-billed dinosaur dating from the late Cretaceous has been the subject of a controversial study by a team of American scientists who claim to have isolated soft tissue including blood vessels and dinosaur blood.

The 80-million-year-old Brachylophosaurus (Brachylophosaurus canadenis), a flat-crested duck-billed dinosaur (Hadrosaurine, Hadrosaur) produced the oldest known proteins preserved in soft tissue. This research was led by the same team from Harvard Medical School that published a paper in 2007 announcing the recovery of proteins from the fossilized limbs of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus.

Study of the femur of a hadrosaurine member of the dinosaur

The Hadrosaur femur (thigh bone) was encased in sandstone and protected to some degree from complete tissue degradation. Paleontologists, who were not part of the research study but were asked to comment on the controversial research, stated that the specimen was probably part of an excellently preserved, nearly complete Brachylophosaurus skeleton, nicknamed “Leonardo “, which was recently found. This fossil preserved parts of the skin, neck muscles and even elements of the gastric tract that revealed the remains of this dinosaur’s last meal.

Discovery of evidence of dinosaur blood vessels

An initial microscopic scan revealed structures resembling blood vessels, cells and collagen (type of protein). These initial findings were confirmed by applying antibodies to tissue known to react with the proteins. Tests suggested the presence of collagen and other proteins, including hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells.

Discovery of prehistoric proteins of long-extinct animals

Hemoglobin movements remain speculative and are not included in the new, peer-reviewed study, which appears in today’s issue of the journal Science. As a result, and pending peer review, the presence of hemoglobin remains unproven. Some scientists have commented that the hemoglobin allegedly found is the result of contamination.

Computational biologist Pavel Pevzner of the University of California stated that if the research had not been contaminated, then this discovery would have had a greater impact on the science of paleontology than other studies believed to have shown other soft tissue preservation in dinosaur fossils.

Heading to a real life Jurassic park

A confirmed discovery of dinosaur-hemoglobin would open the door to the recovery of many dinosaur proteins, including DNA, this could be the first step in a very long journey that could lead to a “Jurassic Park” of real life.

The Harvard scientists are satisfied with their analytical work and remain convinced that they have found evidence of hemoglobin.

Team members studied the tissue samples with a mass spectrometer. He discovered the chemical composition by telling scientists the masses of the various elements in the tested samples.

The Harvard team discovered eight collagen proteins, and colleagues compared them with samples from living animals, as well as Mastodon and Tyrannosaurus rex fossils.

The results placed the Ornithopod Hadrosaur Brachylophosaurus in the same segment of the family tree as the Theropod Tyrannosaur, as expected, the findings show that these animals were more closely related to birds than reptiles.

The new study provides evidence

This new study may add credibility to the team’s work on the Tyrannosaur fossils in 2007. A number of scientists discredited the work, claiming that the findings were flawed and that soft tissue data had been introduced into the study as a result of misuse of specimen fossil.

Images of the fossil bones under study, taken by the research team, show a highly magnified section of fossilized soft tissue taken from a Hadrosaur femur. Red blood cells can be clearly seen, surrounded by white connective tissue. Paleontologists hope to conduct further examinations of the fossil material in search of more organic compounds.

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