Scientists will be able to Reconstruct the Tissue Anatomy of Extinct Creatures
Researchers at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland managed to rebuild the bodies of extinct vertebrates by analyzing the chemistry of fossilized melanosomes in the internal organs.
Melanosomes; melanin is synthesized, stored and transported in cells that perform certain tasks. Melanin; It is a pigment that provides coloration of feathers, skins and patterns of animals. According to researchers at the University College Cork in Ireland, understanding the chemistry of these melanosomes can reconstruct the soft tissue anatomy of fossils.
According to researcher Ananya Mandal, tyrosine, an amino acid that synthesizes proteins, is found in melanin cells where melanin pigment is found in vesicles known as melanosomes. Melanosomes are transported to different cells, such as the upper skin, and accumulate pigments that give us the color of our skin, hair and eyes.
The structure of melonosomes can lead to important discoveries:
In a paper published by researchers from the UCC in the proceedings at the National Academy of Sciences; internal melanosomes were found to be common in various fossils and modern vertebrates and had tissue-specific geometries and metal chemistries. The study was conducted by Valentina Rossi of the UCC and Maria McNamara, a paleobiologist and geology professor. Rossi and McNamara worked with a team of chemists using a synchrotron (electron accelerator) from the US and Japan to analyze the chemical structures of the fossils.
Although the loss of some physical and chemical integrity was caused by the fossilization of an organism, the UCC team was able to reconstruct the anatomy of some soft tissues in fossil vertebrates. The team can understand the various uses of melanin in these prehistoric animals by analyzing the anatomical distribution, morphology, and chemistry of melanosomes in various tissues in a wide range of phylogenetically samples.