Researchers find soft tissue in dinosaur bone

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A team of researchers led by the N.C. State University scientist famed for the controversial discovery of soft tissue in the fossilized bone of a 68-million-year old Tyrannosaurus rex in 2005 has found more soft tissue in an even older dinosaur skeleton.

Results of the more elaborate study -- performed on material from the femur of an 80 million-year-old duckbill dinosaur -- appear in tomorrow's edition of the journal Science.

The new evidence not only undermines skeptics of Mary Schweitzer’s earlier work, but also may point the way to where more bones with such material may be found. That could help other scientists replicate the findings and investigate questions such as how such delicate material could last for such an extraordinary length of time. There was no DNA, but bits of protein found in the bone provided some information about the dinosaur.

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