Thursday, August 03, 2006

 

Frog fossil spawns 10 million year old bone marrow discovery

The first fossilised bone marrow has been found in the bones of 10-million-year-old frogs, salamanders and tadpoles by scientists working in northeastern Spain, the Irish team leader said Tuesday.

Palaeontologist Maria McNamara said the find could yield unprecedented insights into prehistoric creatures, such as whether they hibernated or whether they were cold-blooded or warm-blooded.

McNamara, a researcher at the School of Geological Sciences of University College Dublin (UCD), said her team from Ireland, Spain and the United States found the fossils in ancient lake deposits in the Libros area of Spain.

McNamara said one of the most exciting aspects of the discovery is what the marrow will be able to tell scientists about creatures that lived during what is known as the later Miocene period.

"The original organic material is still there," according to McNamara, whose research was published in this month's Geology (Abstract), the journal of the Geological Society of America.

Also see this earlier news item.

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