The intact skin of a dinosaur

They are two fossilized dinosaurs. Chinese paleontologists found them during an excavation project in Hebei, northern China. One of them is very particular. Because? Because it allowed them to examine the intact skin of a dinosaur, even with some marks.

Fossilized dinosaur bones appeared in Fengning Man Autonomous County, Chengde City. They are two sets of well-preserved dinosaur fossils. One belongs to a relatively primitive ceratopsian dinosaur with almost complete whole-body bones. The other is a stegosaurus. It has a set of bones and skin marks rarely intact. The fossils are believed to date back more than 130 million years.


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under ash

The stegosaurus dinosaur is about 5 meters long. The skin fossils cover an area of ​​about 3 square meters, scattered around the bones. “Hard parts, such as dinosaur bones and teeth, are relatively easy to form fossils. But not the soft parts, like the skin and muscles.” This was explained by Zhang Fucheng, a professor at Linyi University, who leads the research team.

According to Zhang, cited by Xinhua, the level of conservation and integrity of skin fossils are rare worldwide. The scale-like skin not only protected the body of the stegosaurus. It also effectively locked water in the body, allowing dinosaurs to reduce their dependence on water sources.

What is the reason for the complete preservation of these fossils? To the frequent volcanic activities of that time. “The dinosaur could then have gone to drink water and been dragged to a deeper water level,” Zhang said. His body was not disturbed by microorganisms or small animals. The ashes fell year after year, leaving the fossils intact.

Includes some marks detectable with the naked eye.
Includes some marks detectable with the naked eye.


Intact dinosaur skin may offer some answers. “It is important for future studies of the evolution of early ceratopsid dinosaurs,” Zhang added.

Researchers believe the area was a rich forest and river system about 130 million years ago. It provided effective shelter and sufficient food resources for herbivorous dinosaurs. He also protected the fossils of his skin, until our times.

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