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Complex skin impressions are still visible on "Exquisitely preserved" dinosaurs



Two traces of the dinosaur showing incredibly detailed skin impressions
Image: Kyung Soo Kim et al., 201
9 / Scientific reports

During early chalk, a small two-legged dinosaur passed through a piece of fine-grained dirt after rains. The resulting traces were clogged up in stone, but unlike other dinosaur tracks, these 120-million yards of juniority show skin impressions throughout the trail, which is considered to be an unprecedented discovery. paleontologic record, but only 1 percent of these tracks show proof of the skin. None of them were found to keep the signs of the skin throughout the trail – until now.

A new study published in scientific papers is "the first report for any skin dinosaur that covers all the tracks, and everyone should follow the path," the authors of the new document assert. Impressions made by a two-legged dinosaur, known as Minisauripus represent "the highest resolution of the details that are still recorded for any impression of the skin of the dinosaurs," the researchers said, a team led by Kyung-Su Kim from the National Chinju University of Education .

Route for four publications.
Image: Kyung Soo Kim et al., 2019 / Scientific Reports

These incredible traces have been extracted from the formation of Chingya in Korea, and they are built on a plate of very fine gray sandstone with a thin layer of black stone on the top. The new document describes four separate paths along one path, as well as an isolated track of unrelated slabs. These surfaces were traced on a transparent acetate film, photographed at a low angle of light, and measured up to the nearest millimeter.

Each footprint is only one inch long, but they all contain well-preserved impressions of the skin. It is estimated that the average age is 120 to 112 million years, now they are the oldest paths Minisauripus .

Special conditions of the environment allowed the appearance of traces without smearing. The little dinosaur walked through a thin layer of fine dirt that was similar to a "coat of fresh paint in the entire thickness of the millimeter," said Martin Louleau, a panionologist at the University of Colorado Denver and co-author of the new document. statement. It turned out to be an ideal tool for recording the skin texture of an animal. Moreover, the sticky surface prevented the dinosaur from slipping or sliding on the surface, which would destroy the integrity of the imprint.

Experience detail
Image: Kyung Soo Kim et al., 2019 / Scientific reports

Indeed, the level of detail of these impressions is unusual and difficult to believe that they were made so long ago. Small scale arrays, each of which are less than half a millimeter, cover the entire surface of the tiny legs of the dinosaur. Fine traces of scale, described as polygons in a new paper, appear together as a fabric. Researchers believe that the picture is similar to those observed in some feathered chalk birds from China, but the shape of their legs is very different. In addition, the pictures are similar, albeit much smaller than those observed in partial imprints left by large dinosaurs, such as brontosaurs. "The size of the polygons in ornamental skin is proportional to the size of the track," the authors wrote in the work. 11.2 inches). The dinosaur took long steps, as it quickly moved on the muddy surface at a speed of 2.5 meters per second (5.5 miles per hour). The walking speed of a person is about 1.4 meters per second, or about 3.1 miles per hour.

An interesting feature of the new fingerprints is how the skin Miniasuripus stretched between fingers. "Loose and flexible skin can be a factor that allows it to spread when in contact with [mud] so as not to slip or slip and not smudge the fine skin traces as they were registered," the authors wrote.

Another neat aspect of the discovery is that the researchers were able to detect the impression of rain drops in the scum of the mud, allowing them to perform a certain meteorology of the chalk period, as stated in the UC Denver statement: Just before the traces were made , there was a tropical shower leaving the water-drop impression. In one place, the dinosaur stepped on a fresh sign of rain, proving that the rain was the first, and the dinosaur step became the second.

Paleontologist Eugene Gold of the University of Suffolk in Boston said that the information gained from these impressions makes our interpretation of the skin of the dinosaurs more complete.

this [species] was discovered in China and Korea earlier, these new tracks show skin imprints along the entire track, which is a very rare and exciting finding, – explained Gold, who was not involved in the new study. to Gizmodo "In addition, tracks are older than other known tracks for this [species]indicating that this species was about 10-20 million years old before we thought it was."

An incredible discovery, perhaps, also a great demonstration of "scum", apart from bones, may shed new light on these ancient secrets.

[Scientific Reports]


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