Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

soft tissue

Fossilized bird lung tissue controversial; Big if true

Here’s an interesting premise for science finds of 2018: Big, If True. Among them, Bird breathAre white speckles in the chest cavity of a 120-million-year-old bird fossil traces of a respiratory system similar to that of modern birds (SN: 11/10/18, p. 12)? If so, the fossil, found in China, could be the first to preserve lungs of a bird. Some paleontologists aren’t convinced, partly because it’s so rare for delicate lung tissue to survive fossilization. Cassie Martin, “These 2018 findings could be big news — if they turn out to be true” at ScienceNews Note: What makes the Big, If True premise interesting is that researchers were not looking to find this; it happened on them and it raises questions. In Read More ›

Researchers: Soft tissue shows Jurassic ichthyosaur was warm-blooded, had blubber

From ScienceDaily: Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators. “Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related to those sea-dwelling mammals,” says research co-author Mary Schweitzer, professor of biological sciences at NC State with a joint appointment at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and visiting professor at Lund University. “We aren’t exactly sure of their biology either. They have many features in common with living marine reptiles like sea turtles, but we know from the fossil record that they gave Read More ›