Paleontologists have discovered the oldest navel known to science. It belongs to a Psittacosaurus, member of the horned dinosaurs Ceratopsia, in a fossil found in China. The navel does not come from the umbilical cord, as in mammals, but from the yolk sac of the egg-laying creature, reports Scientific warnings Carly Cassella. Details of the find were published this month in Biology of BMC.
Modern hatching eggs such as snakes and birds lose their umbilical cord scar within days or weeks of hatching. But other organisms retain the “umbilical cord scar” for the rest of their lives. While inside the egg, the embryo’s abdomen is connected to the yolk sac, which provides the embryo with a source of food for growth and development. The scar appears when the embryo separates from the yolk sac and other membranes before or until it hatches from its egg. The scar, known as the umbilical scar, is a non-mammalian umbilical cord of Gizmodo Jeanne Timmons. IN Psittacosaurus the umbilical scar is similar to that of an adult alligator and is the first example of one in a neptic dinosaur that predates the Cenozoic period, 66 million years ago, Scientific signal reports.
Psittacosaurus was a two-legged dinosaur that lived at the beginning of the Cretaceous period. Fossils found in Mongolia and China on the horned dinosaur date from 100 million to 22 million years ago. Psittacosaurus it was nearly 7 feet long and was remarkable for its tall, narrow parrot-like skull. Paleontologists have also found the same thing Psittacosaurus fossil dinosaur sewer and anti-shading camouflage, Gizmodo reports.
Researchers photographed the elusive navel with laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF), a imaging technique. They used a modified version of the LSF, developed in part by Michael Pitman, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Hong Kong and co-authored the study with Thomas G. Kay, a paleontologist at the Foundation for Scientific Development. The modified imaging method increases the intensity of the laser in previously established laser imaging techniques without damaging specimens, allowing fine details to be seen in fossils that would otherwise remain invisible, Gizmodo reports.
IN Psittacosaurus a specimen with the navel was discovered in 2002 in China, found lying on its back. Using LSF, the team can analyze every rock, wrinkle and pattern engraved on the preserved fossil. “The LSF reveals the details in a spectacular way,” said Phil Bell, a dinosaur paleontologist involved in the study. Gizmodo. “It really seems that the animal can get up and move away. You can see every little wrinkle and bump on the skin. It looks so fresh. To imagine these animals as living, breathing creatures, not just dead skeletons, is what fascinates me. Bringing them to life is one of the main goals of my work. ”
The team was able to depict the scar on the navel, which has faded over time, seeing a change in the pattern of skin and scales where the dinosaur’s navel will be. They also found that the scar was not from a healed injury, as the umbilical scales were smooth and arranged in the midline of the dinosaur. If the scar was an injury, it would show regenerative tissue that could cut and be incompatible with the scale model. To determine the age of the fossils, the team measured the length and growth of his femur and found that the specimen approached sexual maturity at six to seven years, according to Gizmodo.
Scientists have long speculated that dinosaurs laying eggs will have a navel scar, but this study is the first to find evidence of such, Scientific signal reports. Researchers note that although a scar was found in this specimen, it may not have been present in all neptic dinosaurs.