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Soft tissue from a dino fossil

Hadrosaur remains include fragments of several proteins, tests suggest

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2:48pm, May 1, 2009

As unlikely as it seems, the fossilized remains of an 80-million-year-old dinosaur can still contain bits of soft tissue and fragments of proteins.

Mary H. Schweitzer, a vertebrate paleontologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and her colleagues report in the May 1 Science that they’ve recovered flexible tissue from the 80-million-year-old fossil femur of a plant-eating dinosaur called a hadrosaur. The tissue resembles collagen from the demineralized bones of modern-day birds — a group that many paleontologists consider to be closely related to dinosaurs.

In 2005, Schweitzer and several o

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