The bites of the ancient crocodiles saved the skin of the dinosaur from decay

The bites of the ancient crocodiles saved the skin of the dinosaur from decay

Soft tissue and skin are easily decomposing, and so most of the fossils of dinosaurs are only skeletons. In a study published in PLOS One, scientists have identified the cause of the remarkable preservation of the mummified 7-metre edmontosaur found in North Dakota in 1999.

The discovery of these fossils raised many questions, explained by scientists, and previously it was thought that the soft tissue would not be preserved if it was damaged before the grave was buried; for the skin to be preserved, the dinosaur should have been buried almost instantly; however, the fossilized skin of an ancient animal was clearly marked with bites and cuts by a predator.

Scientists believe that the damage to the integrity — puncture — of the skin has allowed the gases formed by the degradation of the internal organs to come out of the air, resulting in less damage to the outer shell and survival to the point when the remains were soiled and preserved.

In the analysis, researchers found that the bite marks on the hand of the hadrosaurus belonged to an ancient family member of the crocodile. Which animal caused him scratches, scientists don't know. It's also unclear whether the dinosaur's death caused the injuries or whether the scavengers formed them after the death of the fossil reptile.