An ancient protein dating to 195 million years ago was found in a vein in the ribs of a dinosaur in the early Jurassic.
Nationalgeographic.co.id—The public was shocked by the discovery of traces of collagen and protein ancient found in ribs dinosaur 195 million years ago. This is probably the oldest soft tissue sample ever found.
Quoted Histecho, these findings were published in the journal Nature Communications. It was explained that the Lufengosaurus fossil found was even older than protein preserved so far that is 100 million years old.
“This result extends the record for organic remains preserved for more than 100 million years,” said the researchers, who came from Taiwan, China and Canada, respectively.
Previously found collagen fragments date back to 75 million or 80 million years ago. The location of the newly discovered collagen was also surprising.
“Typically, people have looked and found collagen in the large, bulky leg bones, not in the finer ribs,” said Robert Reisz, one of the study’s authors and a paleontologist at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Collagen is one of the components protein primarily in connective tissue and skin. In this regard, the researchers believe that collagen and protein what they found in the canals of small blood vessels in the ribs represented the remnants of blood vessels.
When dinosaur still alive, this is where blood vessels, blood, and nerves are stored. Hematite samples, represented by dark red dots, were also found in the vascular channels. Hematite is a mineral that can be derived from iron-rich hemoglobin, the molecule protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
Hematite is most likely derived from hemoglobin and protein rich in other iron in the blood dinosaur, acts like a preservative for collagen, the researchers said. Studying these samples can give them a better picture of the early stages of evolution dinosaur.
The researchers focused on preservation and used non-invasive imaging techniques such as spectroscopy and microspectroscopy rather than removing samples and dissolving fossil parts. It also reduces the chance of the sample being contaminated with modern bacteria.
Scientists have found protein remains inside the ribs of a 195 million-year-old dinosaur.
For information, Lufengosaurus lived 190 million to 200 million years ago. Lufengosaurus is one of the oldest dinosaurs from the early Jurassic period, characterized by a long neck and a body that stretched about 26 feet, it is believed this type of dinosaur spent most of its time walking on two legs.
Despite having sharp teeth and claws, Lufengosaurus was a herbivore. It was a type of sauropodomorpha, a class of long-necked “lizard-footed” dinosaurs that ate plants.
A closer look at protein structures in the vascular channels in dinosaur ribs.
An artist’s depiction of a Lufengosaurus embryo.
Fossils even become nests containing embryos and are most often found in Lufeng, which is now the territory of Yunnan Province, China. Some of the same researchers from this study found “bones” in nests full of embryos, also including preserved organic remains, in 2013.
“Before, we had some evidence of organic remains in embryos, but didn’t really have detailed information about those organics,” Reisz said.