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First Observation of Dinosaur Skin Layers

Fri., Jan. 24, 2020 3:30 p.m. - Fri., Jan. 24, 2020 4:30 p.m.

Location: CL 112

Abstract:  Dinosaurs roamed the Earth for over 160 million years until their abrupt extinction about 65 million years ago. However, not all dinosaurs went extinct: nowadays birds are recognized as a branch of the dinosaur family known as avian dinosaurs. They are the legacy left by those incredible animals that came in all shapes and sizes. In this seminar, I will discuss the discovery and studies of a spectacularly well preserved skin of a hadrosaur from the Grand Prairie region. A series of complementary data collected using tools such as synchrotron radiation and electron microscopy have been combined to yield the first ever observation of preserved epidermal cell layers in the skin of a large dinosaur. I will also show a direct comparison between this skin structure and that of an extant crocodilian and avian specimens, giving the first ever substantial evidence of the similarities between the organic layout of the skins of extinct non-avian and extant reptiles and avian dinosaurs. 

Speaker: Dr. Mauricio Barbi, Department of Physics, University of Regina