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Melanosomes and ancient coloration re-examined: A response to Vinther 2015 (DOI 10.1002/bies.201500018).

Higby Schweitzer, Mary LU ; Lindgren, Johan LU and Moyer, Alison (2015) In BioEssays 37(11). p.1174-1183
Abstract
Round to elongate microbodies associated with fossil vertebrate soft tissues were interpreted as microbial traces until 2008, when they were re-described as remnant melanosomes - intracellular, pigment-containing eukaryotic organelles. Since then, multiple claims for melanosome preservation and inferences of organismal color, behavior, and physiology have been advanced, based upon the shape and size of these microstructures. Here, we re-examine evidence for ancient melanosomes in light of information reviewed in Vinther (2015), and literature regarding the preservation potential of microorganisms and their exopolymeric secretions. We: (i) address statements in Vinther's recent (2015) review that are incorrect or which misrepresent... (More)
Round to elongate microbodies associated with fossil vertebrate soft tissues were interpreted as microbial traces until 2008, when they were re-described as remnant melanosomes - intracellular, pigment-containing eukaryotic organelles. Since then, multiple claims for melanosome preservation and inferences of organismal color, behavior, and physiology have been advanced, based upon the shape and size of these microstructures. Here, we re-examine evidence for ancient melanosomes in light of information reviewed in Vinther (2015), and literature regarding the preservation potential of microorganisms and their exopolymeric secretions. We: (i) address statements in Vinther's recent (2015) review that are incorrect or which misrepresent published data; (ii) discuss the need for caution in interpreting "voids" and microbodies associated with degraded fossil soft tissues; (iii) present evidence that microorganisms are in many cases an equally parsimonious source for these "voids" as are remnant melanosomes; and (iv) suggest methods/criteria for differentiating melanosomes from microbial traces in the fossil record. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
BioEssays
volume
37
issue
11
pages
1174 - 1183
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • pmid:26434749
  • wos:000363481200008
  • scopus:84944541145
ISSN
0265-9247
DOI
10.1002/bies.201500061
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4e0f82db-6ee7-48e6-a7e7-c114d0e36539 (old id 8158941)
date added to LUP
2015-11-26 10:16:40
date last changed
2017-09-10 03:09:00
@article{4e0f82db-6ee7-48e6-a7e7-c114d0e36539,
  abstract     = {Round to elongate microbodies associated with fossil vertebrate soft tissues were interpreted as microbial traces until 2008, when they were re-described as remnant melanosomes - intracellular, pigment-containing eukaryotic organelles. Since then, multiple claims for melanosome preservation and inferences of organismal color, behavior, and physiology have been advanced, based upon the shape and size of these microstructures. Here, we re-examine evidence for ancient melanosomes in light of information reviewed in Vinther (2015), and literature regarding the preservation potential of microorganisms and their exopolymeric secretions. We: (i) address statements in Vinther's recent (2015) review that are incorrect or which misrepresent published data; (ii) discuss the need for caution in interpreting "voids" and microbodies associated with degraded fossil soft tissues; (iii) present evidence that microorganisms are in many cases an equally parsimonious source for these "voids" as are remnant melanosomes; and (iv) suggest methods/criteria for differentiating melanosomes from microbial traces in the fossil record.},
  author       = {Higby Schweitzer, Mary and Lindgren, Johan and Moyer, Alison},
  issn         = {0265-9247},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1174--1183},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {BioEssays},
  title        = {Melanosomes and ancient coloration re-examined: A response to Vinther 2015 (DOI 10.1002/bies.201500018).},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bies.201500061},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2015},
}