Paleontologists have discovered the oldest navel known to science on a 125 million-year-old fossil of a dinosaur of the genus Psittacosaurus. Oh, the fossils also have the first dinosaur hole discovered.
According to Live Science, the psittacosaurus lived during the Cretaceous period, which was between 145 million and 66 million years ago, and scientists discovered this navel after exposing the fossils to a concentrated beam of laser light.
These scientists reported their findings in the journal BMC Biology on June 7 and said they noticed a “thin trace of umbilical scarring”, which is “a slight mismatch of the skin pattern and is scaled on the dinosaur’s belly and is equivalent to the reptile’s navel.” mammal. “
While fetal mammals get their nutrients from the placenta, birds and reptiles get what they need from a yolk sac that connects to their stomachs through blood vessels. When these types of creatures hatch, the yolk is absorbed into the body and the scar on the abdomen is all that remains.
For most birds and reptiles, the scar heals in a few days or weeks, but some reptiles, including alligators, may have the mark “beyond sexual maturity.” This fossil sheds new light on dinosaurs and indicates that some dinosaurs had these scars that did not heal early.
The fossil, known as SMF R 4970, is an early type of ceratopsis called Psittacosaurus mongoliensis, which belongs to a group of herbivorous beaked animals that includes triceratops. It was discovered about 20 years ago and is so well preserved because the dinosaur was “petrified while lying on its back.” This also led scientists to discover the previously mentioned “perfect” and “unique” hole.
“Using LSF images, we identified distinctive scales that surrounded a long umbilical scar in the Psittacosaurus specimen, similar to [scars in] some live lizards and crocodiles, “said paleontologist Michael Pitman, an assistant professor at the School of Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.” We call this type of navel scar, and in humans it is smaller. This specimen is the first dinosaur fossil to preserve the navel, due to its exceptional state of preservation. “
In addition to its importance to science, this fossil has also been the subject of “fierce controversy over repatriation.” The fossil was discovered in an unknown region of China in the 1980s or 1990s and is said to have been smuggled out of the country and into underground European markets before being purchased and exhibited in 2001 at the Zenkenberg Museum in Frankfurt. Germany.
“The debate over the legal ownership of this specimen continues and efforts to repatriate it to China have been unsuccessful. “Our international team of Australian, Belgian, British, Chinese and American members hopes and supports a friendly solution to this ongoing debate,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “We believe it is important to note that the specimen was acquired by the Zenkenberg Museum in order to prevent its sale into private hands and to ensure its availability for scientific research.
For more information on dinosaurs, see how Tyrannosaurus Rex may actually have been three separate dinosaurs and the recently discovered dinosaurs in England called Hell Heron and Riverbank Hunter.
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Adam Bankhurst is the author of IGN news. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and onwards Twitching.