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Molecular composition and ultrastructure of Jurassic paravian feathers.

Lindgren, Johan LU ; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Cincotta, Aude; Uvdal, Per LU ; Hutcheson, Steven W; Gustafsson, Ola LU ; Lefèvre, Ulysse; Escuillié, François and Heimdal, Jimmy LU , et al. (2015) In Scientific Reports 5.
Abstract
Feathers are amongst the most complex epidermal structures known, and they have a well-documented evolutionary trajectory across non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds. Moreover, melanosome-like microbodies preserved in association with fossil plumage have been used to reconstruct original colour, behaviour and physiology. However, these putative ancient melanosomes might alternatively represent microorganismal residues, a conflicting interpretation compounded by a lack of unambiguous chemical data. We therefore used sensitive molecular imaging, supported by multiple independent analytical tests, to demonstrate that the filamentous epidermal appendages in a new specimen of the Jurassic paravian Anchiornis comprise remnant eumelanosomes and... (More)
Feathers are amongst the most complex epidermal structures known, and they have a well-documented evolutionary trajectory across non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds. Moreover, melanosome-like microbodies preserved in association with fossil plumage have been used to reconstruct original colour, behaviour and physiology. However, these putative ancient melanosomes might alternatively represent microorganismal residues, a conflicting interpretation compounded by a lack of unambiguous chemical data. We therefore used sensitive molecular imaging, supported by multiple independent analytical tests, to demonstrate that the filamentous epidermal appendages in a new specimen of the Jurassic paravian Anchiornis comprise remnant eumelanosomes and fibril-like microstructures, preserved as endogenous eumelanin and authigenic calcium phosphate. These results provide novel insights into the early evolution of feathers at the sub-cellular level, and unequivocally determine that melanosomes can be preserved in fossil feathers. (Less)
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Scientific Reports
volume
5
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000360147200001
  • pmid:26311035
  • scopus:84940558926
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/srep13520
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c4b1d7ae-2332-4f63-8dbf-c18d481314d7 (old id 7834357)
date added to LUP
2015-09-10 20:15:02
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:48:53
@article{c4b1d7ae-2332-4f63-8dbf-c18d481314d7,
  abstract     = {Feathers are amongst the most complex epidermal structures known, and they have a well-documented evolutionary trajectory across non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds. Moreover, melanosome-like microbodies preserved in association with fossil plumage have been used to reconstruct original colour, behaviour and physiology. However, these putative ancient melanosomes might alternatively represent microorganismal residues, a conflicting interpretation compounded by a lack of unambiguous chemical data. We therefore used sensitive molecular imaging, supported by multiple independent analytical tests, to demonstrate that the filamentous epidermal appendages in a new specimen of the Jurassic paravian Anchiornis comprise remnant eumelanosomes and fibril-like microstructures, preserved as endogenous eumelanin and authigenic calcium phosphate. These results provide novel insights into the early evolution of feathers at the sub-cellular level, and unequivocally determine that melanosomes can be preserved in fossil feathers.},
  articleno    = {13520},
  author       = {Lindgren, Johan and Sjövall, Peter and Carney, Ryan M and Cincotta, Aude and Uvdal, Per and Hutcheson, Steven W and Gustafsson, Ola and Lefèvre, Ulysse and Escuillié, François and Heimdal, Jimmy and Engdahl, Anders and Gren, Johan and Kear, Benjamin P and Wakamatsu, Kazumasa and Yans, Johan and Godefroit, Pascal},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Scientific Reports},
  title        = {Molecular composition and ultrastructure of Jurassic paravian feathers.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep13520},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2015},
}