Dinosaur cells seen, according to articles in BBC News 30 June 2009 and New Scientist, 4 July 2009, p8. Researchers at University of Manchester are studying a remarkably well preserved dinosaur that includes fossilised remains of skin and tendons. Soft tissues like these are rarely fossilised because even if an animal is buried whole, bacteria break down these tissues. The scientists believe this dinosaur, this Hadrosaur nicknamed “Dakota” was buried rapidly in a low oxygen environment. Because of the good preservation the researchers have been able to examine thin slices of the skin under a microscope and see cell-like structures. They also observed “the cellular structure of the dinosaur’s skin was similar to that of dinosaurs’ modern-day descendants.” The skin was organised into two layers – a surface epidermis over a layer of dense fibrous tissue, just like crocodiles, birds and other living creatures today. They did not find any intact proteins, but they did find amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, in the fossil.
Editorial Comment: We are pleased to see scientists admitting such fossilisation requires rapid burial in a low oxygen environment. We have been saying this for many years. Now we would like the scientists to admit that such rapid, deep burial of a very large creature, such as this dinosaur, will only happen in a large catastrophic event. Since all fully terrestrial vertebrates have skin consisting of epidermis overlaying a dermis layer of dense fibrous tissue, the similarity of dinosaur skin to living crocodiles and birds is therefore no evidence for any evolutionary connection between these creatures and dinosaurs. (Ref. reptiles, preservation, histology)
Evidence News, 5 August 2009