Researcher Finds Soft Tissue in 80 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur

May 11, 2009
By Cherry Crayton

Fall 2005 issuePaleontologist Mary Schweitzer and a group of researchers report in a recent issue of Science magazine that they have found soft issue in an 80 million-year-old hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur. Report of the find comes nearly four years after Schweitzer, an associate professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, led a team that recovered soft tissue from a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurs Rex. The News & Observer reports:

The new evidence not only undermines skeptics of Mary Schweitzer’s earlier work, but also may point the way to where more bones with such material may be found. That could help other scientists replicate the findings and investigate questions such as how such delicate material could last for such an extraordinary length of time.

Tom Kaye, a paleontologist at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Wash., and a critic of the original T. rex study, told Science that the new find “will either be nothing or the biggest revolution in paleontology ever.”

Read the paper Schweitzer and her team published in the May 1, 2009, issue of Science magazine. Also read NC State magazine’s profile of Schweitzer in its fall 2005 issue.

Update: The Smithsonian’s Dinosaur Tracking blog offers a write-up.

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