''Mummified'' Dinosaur Unveiled

Photo Gallery: Mummified Dinosaur Unveiled
<< Previous   5 of 5    
A high-resolution CT scan shows the tail end of a 67-million-year-old hadrosaur dubbed Dakota. The dinosaur's mummy was carefully transported from its resting place in North Dakota to a facility in California capable of scanning the ten-ton fossil.

The exquisitely preserved body was found with much of its tissue still intact inside an envelope of skin.

Scans of the mummy show that the dino's tail vertebrae are spaced farther apart than previous fossil finds had suggested. This means that hadrosaurs probably had much longer tails than have traditionally been depicted, the research team said.

"It's rare to find an articulated skeleton, and even more so to find one with fossilized soft tissue," said Michigan State University zoologist Peggy Ostrom, an expert in ancient proteins who was not part of the Dakota team.

"If such finds show extraordinary preservation, they tempt us to wonder about the possibility of finding [unfossilized] biomolecules that might be remnants of the ancient organism."

 More Photos in the News
 Today's 15 Most Read Stories
 Free Email Newsletter: Focus on Photography
—Image courtesy Pratt & Whitney/Boeing ) 2007 National Geographic
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.