Just out | Unusual intraosseous fossilized soft tissues from the Middle Triassic Nothosaurus bone @ The Science of Nature

Just out @ The Science of Nature

Unusual intraosseous fossilized soft tissues from the Middle Triassic Nothosaurus bone


Dawid Surmik, Bruce M. Rothschild, Roman Pawlicki


Fossilized soft tissues, occasionally found together with skeletal remains, provide insights to the physiology and functional morphology of extinct organisms. Herein, we present unusual fossilized structures from the cortical region of bone identified in isolated skeletal remains of Middle Triassic nothosaurs from Upper Silesia, Poland. The ribbed or annuli-shaped structures have been found in a sample of partially demineralized coracoid and are interpreted as either giant red blood cells or as blood vessel walls. The most probable function is reinforcing the blood vessels from changes of nitrogen pressure in air-breathing diving reptiles. These structures seem to have been built of extensible muscle layers which prevent the vessel damage during rapid ascent. Such suspected function presented here is parsimonious with results of previous studies, which indicate rarity of the pathological modification of bones associated with decompression syndrome in Middle Triassic nothosaurs.



Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)
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