Scientists have examined a dinosaur mummy dubbed the “Dakota” whose skin is still “glistening” after 67 million years of burial.
Some 67 million years ago, in what is now North Dakota, a duck-billed dinosaur fell and died for some reason, which caused an ancient alligator-related animal to bite it. It was torn open, leaving holes in its skin and teeth. its bones. Today, evidence of these carnivore feasts can still be found on dinosaur fossils, including this dinosaur’s extraordinary skin.
These lingering bites may help explain how dinosaurs were mummified, a new study suggests. The study also found that dinosaur mummies with unique skin and soft tissue are better preserved than scientists previously thought.
According to research team leader Clint Boyd, the fossil Edmonton Dragon The head and tail tip are missing, including the left forelimb, but the rest of the specimen is intact. The bones of its right forelimb, hindlimb and tail are covered with large areas of skin.
Mindy Haushold, one of the researchers, said the skin was a very dark brown, almost dark brown, with a bit of “iridescence” due to the high iron content. From the petrochemical process, said study co-author Mindy Household.
The Dakota’s gleaming skin has been on public display at the Heritage Center since 2014, even as the fossils were still peeling off the surrounding rocks. In 2018, experts prepared to clean up the fossil more thoroughly, and in the process found what looked like bite marks. Initially, bites were found on the specimens’ tails, many on the “pink finger” of the right extremity, said Becky Barnes, a paleontologist and laboratory manager researcher with the North Dakota Geological Survey.
Through their analysis, the researchers found that the “deep grooves, scratches and punctures” in the Dakota’s tail were likely caused by teeth or claws piercing the flesh.The authors of the study believe that it may have been a crocodile or a dinosaur, such as Deinonychus big or one Tyrannosaurus Rex Adulthood leaves such traces. The team also found more than a dozen stab wounds on Dakota’s right hand and forearm, noting that the animal’s skin later partially peeled off, likely from a decomposing predator.
Researchers have now spent about 14,000 hours studying the Dakota specimen, and they expect to spend thousands more with the impressive mummy in order to be able to figure out what chemistry allowed it. Fossil dinosaur skins can be preserved for a long time. But still retains its original freshness.