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Soft-tissue preservation in Miocene frogs from Libros, Spain; insights into the genesis of decay microenvironments

Maria E. McNamara, Patrick J. Orr, Stuart L. Kearns, Luis Alcala, Pere Anadon and Enrique Penalver Molla
Soft-tissue preservation in Miocene frogs from Libros, Spain; insights into the genesis of decay microenvironments
Palaios (February 2009) 24 (2): 104-117

Abstract

The Late Miocene Libros biota is a lacustrine-hosted, Konservat-Lagerstatte from Libros, near Teruel in northeast Spain. Adult frogs are characterized by the preservation of their soft tissues, some in histological detail. The soft tissues of the body outline are preserved as a layered structure, which comprises a central carbonaceous bacterial biofilm enveloped by the phosphatized remains of the mid-dermal Eberth-Katschenko layer, external to which is a second, thinner, carbonaceous bacterial biofilm. Bacterial autolithification is restricted to limited phosphatization of the cell margins of bacteria adjacent to phosphatized dermis. Phosphatization occurred during the late stages of decay; phosphate was sourced primarily from the dermis itself. Other tissues and organs are also defined in authigenic minerals: nervous tissue (aragonite), the stomach (calcium phosphate), and collagen fibers of the dermal stratum compactum (calcium sulphate); bone marrow is organically preserved. The disparate modes of soft-tissue preservation within individual specimens reflects development of several highly localized, chemically distinct microenvironments within the frog carcasses during decay. These microenvironments correspond to individual organs and tissues, were established at different times during decay, and varied in their duration. The preservation of soft tissues via multiple taphonomic pathways was controlled ultimately by anatomical and physiological factors.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 24
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Soft-tissue preservation in Miocene frogs from Libros, Spain; insights into the genesis of decay microenvironments
Affiliation: University College Dublin, School of Geological Sciences, Dublin, Ireland
Pages: 104-117
Published: 200902
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 103
Accession Number: 2009-028338
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N40°10'00" - N40°10'00", W01°13'60" - W01°13'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Bristol, GBR, United KingdomFundacion Conjunto Paleontologico de Teruel-Dinopolis, ESP, SpainCSIC, Institut de Ciencies de la Terra "Jaume Almera", ESP, SpainInstituto Geologico y Minero de Espana, ESP, Spain
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 200916
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