May be sounding like ‘Jurassic World’ but it’s true that researchers have discovered 75-million-year-old red blood cells and proteins inside fossilized dinosaur bones.
Examining part of a fossilised dinosaur claw, the Imperial College London researchers identified tiny ovoid structures with an inner denser core that resembled red blood cells, the BBC reported.
In another fossil fragment, they found fibrous features with a banded structure similar to that seen in modern-day collagen – found in the tendons, skin and ligaments of animals.
Co-author Susannah Maidment said that all of the previous reports of original components of soft tissues in dinosaur fossils have tended to be in specimens that are really exceptionally preserved, one-offs, really, that require special pleading to explain how they got preserved.
By contrast, the fossils in this study, which have been lying in the London Natural History Museum collections for more than a century, are largely in a poor state of preservation.
The work appears in the journal Nature Communications.