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Ancient protein found in marine fossil

A 70-million-year-old protein has been extracted from the fossil of an ancient marine lizard.

Collagen protein, a type of connective tissue, was found inside the fossilized upper forelimb bone of the mosasaur Prognathodon, a long-dead relative of the monitor lizard.

While this is not the first time proteins have been recovered from dinosaur-era remains, this is the first find of preserved tissues from a marine environment. And the first time they have been found in place in a fossil.

Earlier finds came from extracts of whole dinosaur bones preserved in sediments from what were once river floodplains.

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Story: Tim Wall, Discovery News | Photo: Discovery News

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