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High-fidelity organic preservation of bone marrow in ca. 10 Ma amphibians

Maria E. McNamara, Patrick J. Orr, Stuart L. Kearns, Luis Alcala, Pere Anadon and Enrique Penalver-Molla
High-fidelity organic preservation of bone marrow in ca. 10 Ma amphibians
Geology (Boulder) (August 2006) 34 (8): 641-644


Bone marrow in ca. 10 Ma frogs and salamanders from the Miocene of Libros, Spain, represents the first fossilized example of this extremely decay-prone tissue. The bone marrow, preserved in three dimensions as an organic residue, retains the original texture and red and yellow color of hematopoietic and fatty marrow, respectively; moldic osteoclasts and vascular structures are also present. We attribute exceptional preservation of the fossilized bone marrow to cryptic preservation: the bones of the amphibians formed protective microenvironments, and inhibited microbial infiltration. Specimens in which bone marrow is preserved vary in their completeness and articulation and in the extent to which the body outline is preserved as a thin film of organically preserved bacteria. Cryptic preservation of these labile tissues is thus to a large extent independent of, and cannot be predicted by, the taphonomic history of the remainder of the specimen.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 8
Title: High-fidelity organic preservation of bone marrow in ca. 10 Ma amphibians
Affiliation: University College Dublin, School of Geological Sciences, Dublin, Ireland
Pages: 641-644
Published: 200608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 35
Accession Number: 2006-062581
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N39°52'00" - N41°22'00", W01°49'60" - E00°16'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Bristol, GBR, United KingdomFundacion Conjunto Paleontologico de Teruel-Dinopolis, ESP, SpainConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, ESP, SpainAmerican Museum of Natural History, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200635
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