‘Remarkable’ fossil features an insect trapped in amber, stuck to a dinosaur jaw | Science
It isn’t on a daily basis that scientists dig up a dinosaur jaw—or unearth the stays of fossilized bugs. So paleontologists couldn’t consider their good fortune when, in 2010, they discovered the 75-million-year-old jawbone of a duck-billed hadrosaur in Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, crowned with a 7-centimeter-wide blob of amber containing strains of timber and sap-sucking aphids (above).
The “remarkable” two-for-one fossil would had been preserved in an extremely not likely chain of occasions, the researchers write nowadays in Scientific Reports. The paleontologists consider that when the Prosaurolophus hadrosaur died—and the flesh had decayed off its jawbone—it washed into a river. There, a blob of sticky resin from both a redwood or an araucarian conifer tree additionally fell. The blob, containing an unfortunate aphid, washed up towards the bone and was once pressed towards it through the glide of water, the scientists argue. It was once then lined in sediment for tens of tens of millions of years, throughout which period the resin hardened into amber.
The to find—the primary of its type in North America—carries a shipment of secrets and techniques in regards to the dinosaur’s setting. For instance, the plant and insect strains inside of verify what many paleontologists already hypothesized: that some hadrosaurs, together with the Nine-meter-long Prosaurolophus, consumed conifers close to coastal floodplains.