Is dinosaur soft tissue claim going soft?

by Anonymous on Jul. 31st, 2008

Tyrannosaurs rex: Jane, the Burpee Museum's T-rex looms out of the darkness in Rockford, IL.
Tyrannosaurs rex: Jane, the Burpee Museum's T-rex looms out of the darkness in Rockford, IL.Courtesy Mark Ryan
Three years ago, the world of vertebrate paleontology was abuzz with news of soft tissue discovered inside the fossilized femur of a Tyrannosaurus rex dug up in Montana. The discovery resulted in several published papers and science-based television shows on the subject.

Now a new study published on PloS One claims the supposedly 64 million-year-old “dino tissue” may have been nothing more than some slime that had infiltrated the fossil bone sometime around 1960.

Mary Schweitzer, the paleontologist who made the original claim for dinosaur soft tissue isn’t very happy about the new study, and is defending her research team’s original analysis. Read about the controversy here, and stay tuned for more fireworks.

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