Sun, 22 May 2022
The gang discusses two papers that show examples of exceptional preservation. The first paper looks at melanosome patterns in pterosaur barbules, and the second paper looks at a pathway for exceptional preservation in fossil spiders. Meanwhile, Curt (and his audio apparently) recover from COVID, James shares a story about renting, and Amanda tries to pronounce French.
Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):
Our friends talk about two papers that look at animal parts that have held up really well for a long time. The first paper looks at soft things on the skin of angry flying animals that are not the same as flying animals that often can make happy sounds but are old brothers and sisters. The soft things on the skin of this animal have small things that make the soft things either light or dark. These small things look different from the other small things on the skin. We find this in big angry animals which are more close to the flying animals that make happy sounds. This might mean that the way these small things are put together on the animal might have appeared a lot more in the past than we thought.
The second paper looks at small things with many legs that are usually really hard to find in rocks. However, we start seeing a lot more of them at a point. The ones that we do find look weird, and so this paper looked into how these small things that usually don't hold up in rocks managed to stay together in the rocks. They find that these small things with many legs fell into water that had a lot of other even smaller things made up of one part. These really small animals push out stuff that makes it easier for these really small animals to live there. This stuff changed the bodies of the small animals with many legs into something that wouldn't break down so easily. This is the first time this has been found in rocks, and it might be something that has happened more often than we know.
Olcott, Alison N., et al. "The exceptional preservation of Aix-en-Provence spider fossils could have been facilitated by diatoms." Communications Earth & Environment 3.1 (2022): 1-10.
Cincotta, Aude, et al. "Pterosaur melanosomes support signalling functions for early feathers." Nature (2022): 1-5.