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The Tyrannosaur Thread- Anything T. rex or tyrannosaurid related

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    This Tarbosaurus refuses to let go of the headlines. Now it seems the skeleton is actually a composite of several individuals, not a single one:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/06/us-usa-dinosaur-mongolia-idUSBRE88501820120906


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Read about that in the paper today. Should take a while before this one is sorted out unfortunately. The judge called it a sort of "frankenstein" dinosaur.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,571 newmug


    Jurrasic Park, here we come!


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    I still can't get my head around how it managed to stay preserved for so long.


  • Registered Users Posts: 714 Ziphius


    Galvasean wrote: »
    I still can't get my head around how it managed to stay preserved for so long.

    Yeah it's crazy. I read the paper last night so I'll try give a summary of their theory, though I'll probably get it a bit of it mixed up.

    The 'cells' found were ostecytes or bone cells. They were isolated by dissolving the bone and then using a few treatments (e.g. centrifugation). When I first heard about this I imagined a palaeontologist cracking open a bone and finding some goo in the cavity inside, from reading the paper it seems that it is basically the cell 'skeletons' (e.g. structural proteins such as actin) that have been preserved inside the structure of the bones.

    The major line of evidence that these are dinosaur cells and not anything else is that antibodies from ostriches will bind to them. This didn't happen in the alligator and bacteria controls.

    The researchers propose that the the location deep within the bone is what protects the cells from the rapid decay we would typically imagine. Osteocytes, they claim, are especially long lived and would not exhibit the same rate of turn over as other cell types such as skin or intestinal cells, perhaps lasting the entire lifespan of the animal (and beyond).

    The location of the cells also protects them from degradation due to environmental conditions as well as breakdown by bacteria. The researches also posit that they are protected from the organisms own systems which breakdown damaged or diseased cells.

    Finally the researchers suggest that the releases of high levels of iron from the breakdown of hemoglobin acts to 'fix' the cells (i.e. preserve them). I always thought that in order to preserve cells and tissue for extended periods of time that the water must be removed an replaced with some other preserving agent. I don't think the researchers address this but I may be wrong.

    It's certainly an incredible discovery if it's true and of immense scientific value. I look forward to what other researchers write about this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,038 ✭✭✭ McG


    newmug wrote: »
    Jurrasic Park, here we come!

    sadly not, recent studies suggest DNA has a half life of 521 years so no hope of getting any readable DNA

    http://www.nature.com/news/dna-has-a-521-year-half-life-1.11555


  • Registered Users Posts: 714 Ziphius


    McG wrote: »
    sadly not, recent studies suggest DNA has a half life of 521 years so no hope of getting any readable DNA

    http://www.nature.com/news/dna-has-a-521-year-half-life-1.11555

    Weird, the New Scientist story on this same research gives a half like of ~150,000 years. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22359-dnas-halflife-identified-using-fossil-bones.html

    Shows how important it is to look at the primary literature I suppose.

    The T. rex soft tissue paper claims that DNA was found in the dinosaur 'cells'. Though it has been significantly degraded.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 714 Ziphius


    Seems finding dinosaur cells and DNA isn't anything new. This paper from 1995 claims evidence of DNA in osteocytes in T. rex's close relative Tarbosaurus. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8612871

    Also regarding the disagreement in the DNA half-life. My understanding that the ~500 year figure refers to the expected half life of the fossils from the particular locations used in this study (i.e. Mitochondrial DNA from New Zealand moa) while the older 150,000 year figure is for "perfect" conditions (i.e. temperature maintained at -5 degrees C). The oldest preserved DNA comes from ice cores and is estimated to be between 400,000 and 800,000 years old.

    Paper is open access available here: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/10/05/rspb.2012.1745


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    You might say scientists have... disarmed him!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Just a bit of 'armless research methinks.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 87,003 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20855935
    He faces a maximum of 17 years imprisonment when he is sentenced in April.

    US Attorney Preet Bharara said authorities would now begin the process of returning the fossils to their countries of origin.

    "Fossils and ancient skeletal remains are part of the fabric of a country's natural history and cultural heritage, and black marketers like Prokopi who illegally export and sell these wonders, steal a slice of that history," he said.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Interesting, and slightly OT. What about the Elgin Marbles?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Not a T-Rex, tho... a Tarbosaurus bataar.

    Damn journalists...


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Or possibly a Tyrannosaurus bataar, depending on which palaeontologists you listen to. FWIW, nowhere in the linked article does it say, "T. rex".


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Or possibly a Tyrannosaurus bataar, depending on which palaeontologists you listen to. FWIW, nowhere in the linked article does it say, "T. rex".

    Yeah, that was my point. It seems, tho, that Tarbosaurus may actually be more related to Alioramus than to Tyrannosaurus; sort of convergent evolution between two different tyrannosaur linneages. If so, we can kiss "Tyrannosaurus bataar" goodbye and T-Rex goes back to being the only known species of its genus...


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    Yeah, that was my point. It seems, tho, that Tarbosaurus may actually be more related to Alioramus than to Tyrannosaurus; sort of convergent evolution between two different tyrannosaur linneages. If so, we can kiss "Tyrannosaurus bataar" goodbye and T-Rex goes back to being the only known species of its genus...

    That was something that escaped me totally until you pointed it out Adam. Thank you for that. Convergent evolution must have occurred back then, it occurs today. I am now feeling quite intrigued. (And foolish for missing the point)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Naming aside, I am glad to see the book being finally thrown at fossil poachers. For too long they have been getting off lightly.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,190 ✭✭✭ Squeaky the Squirrel


    Bones of Contention

    Long Long read, only a bit of the way down but it's interesting. It's about an auction house trying to sell a 75% complete Tarbosaurus bataar. T. bataar (cousin of the T-Rex) that may or may not have been illegally taken out of Mongolia.

    Breaks off into a bit of a history lesson about Fossil Hunting and how Jurassic Park and the sale of a T Rex for $8.4mil put the industry in the spot light.

    I'm only as far as the big P :P


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Thanks Squeaky


    I've merged your thread and another about the same case into this one.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    This seems like the last chapter to the Tarbosaurus skeleton saga. The dino goes back to Mongolia, and Prokopi probably goes to jail. For 10 years. :eek:

    http://news.yahoo.com/tyrannosaurus-center-custody-case-going-home-mongolia-002349241--mma.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Glad the skeleton is gone back to Mongolia. At least ten years in jail seems a tad excessive though.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 87,003 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Glad the skeleton is gone back to Mongolia. At least ten years in jail seems a tad excessive though.

    Not really when you consider what he did and where he did it.
    Authorities accused Prokopi of having lied on U.S. customs forms when he declared the fossilized bones were worth $19,000.
    Tax avoidance is big business in the US, (Facebook turned a couple of billion profit into a tax-rebate) but you're royally screwed if found guilty of tax evasion. It's not a secret of what the IRS did to Al Capone.

    Even here lying on a customs form can mean serious jail time.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    I thought the ten years were for fossil smuggling, which did seem excessive...


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Known from very good remains.

    Article is in Chinese, tho :(

    http://www.uua.cn/news/show-14751-1.html

    20130201100453159.jpg

    20130201100550806.jpg

    20130201100652756.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Looks like a good specimen. I look forward to hearing more about it.


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