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      First fossilized skin of a giant penguin from the Eocene of Antarctica

      1 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 3
      Lethaia
      Wiley

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          Taphonomic and ecologic information from bone weathering

          Bones of recent mammals in the Amboseli Basin, southern Kenya, exhibit distinctive weathering characteristics that can be related to the time since death and to the local conditions of temperature, humidity and soil chemistry. A categorization of weathering characteristics into six stages, recognizable on descriptive criteria, provides a basis for investigation of weathering rates and processes. The time necessary to achieve each successive weathering stage has been calibrated using known-age carcasses. Most bones decompose beyond recognition in 10 to 15 yr. Bones of animals under 100 kg and juveniles appear to weather more rapidly than bones of large animals or adults. Small-scale rather than widespread environmental factors seem to have greatest influence on weathering characteristics and rates. Bone weathering is potentially valuable as evidence for the period of time represented in recent or fossil bone assemblages, including those on archeological sites, and may also be an important tool in censusing populations of animals in modern ecosystems.
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            Fossil evidence for evolution of the shape and color of penguin feathers.

            Penguin feathers are highly modified in form and function, but there have been no fossils to inform their evolution. A giant penguin with feathers was recovered from the late Eocene (~36 million years ago) of Peru. The fossil reveals that key feathering features, including undifferentiated primary wing feathers and broad body contour feather shafts, evolved early in the penguin lineage. Analyses of fossilized color-imparting melanosomes reveal that their dimensions were similar to those of non-penguin avian taxa and that the feathering may have been predominantly gray and reddish-brown. In contrast, the dark black-brown color of extant penguin feathers is generated by large, ellipsoidal melanosomes previously unknown for birds. The nanostructure of penguin feathers was thus modified after earlier macrostructural modifications of feather shape linked to aquatic flight.
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              The role of the calcium carbonate-calcium phosphate switch in the mineralization of soft-bodied fossils

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Lethaia
                Lethaia
                Wiley
                0024-1164
                1502-3931
                January 15 2020
                January 15 2020
                Affiliations
                [1 ]División Paleontología Vertebrados Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo Museo de La Plata Comisión Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET) Paseo del Bosque s/n La Plata 1900 Argentina
                [2 ]Instituto Antártico Argentino (Dirección Nacional del Antártico) 25 de Mayo 1143 San Martín B1650 Argentina
                [3 ]División Paleontología Vertebrados Museo de La Plata Paseo del Bosque s/n La Plata 1900 Argentina
                Article
                10.1111/let.12366
                4f3592b0-27c4-4286-8abd-f6a94cfa293c
                © 2020

                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/termsAndConditions#vor

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1


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