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Tuesday, 13 December 2016 17:48

Discovery of preserved dinosaur tail advanced paleontology knowledge

Written by  Dan Garrett

What was once thought of as science fiction now seems to be true.
Just like in the movie "Jurassic Park," paleontologists have discovered a dinosaur tail that has been preserved in amber.
Now KU scientists are looking into finding more hopes of life preserved from the past.
"There's lots of secrets in here to reveal by studying amber," paleontologist David Burnham says the amber from trees contain many mysteries from the past. "they've trapped insects and we've all seen Jurassic Park right? I mean mosquito but then you can also get things like birds, feathers, and a dinosaur tail? That's a first, that's fantastic!"
Recently, a 99-million year old piece of amber was discovered in China and contained a tail from an infant Coelurosoar, a form of Raptor.
What was interesting about the find is that it has preserved feathers attached to the tail,
Now researchers say this is the first of its kind: "It’s like one of these dinosaurs are the progenitors of birds, very modern looking feathers on very ancient bones."
Researcher Andrew Torrance works to bring extinct creatures back to life. Amber, he says, is the perfect tool in keeping DNA intact. 
"If there's DNA of dinos anywhere, it would be in amber, not in fossils."
For Burnham, this recent discovery ignites his search for more amber fossils. "I'd like to go over in Burma right now and go to the amber market and start looking for fossils."
Now scientists hope technology will advance enough in the future to dissect this piece of amber.
The amber has been moved to the Royal Museum in Saskatchewan, Canada.