A Microraptor remains procured from the Liaoning province; China is under observation. The paleontologists have found the presence of fossilized dandruff on the Microraptor remain obtained from China. It is said that the fossilized skin flakes represent the oldest known case of dandruff.
The Microraptor represents a small paravian dinosaur. It used to have four wings. The wings were present on all its four limbs. Microraptor is known to live about one hundred and twenty-five million years ago. The fossil resembles the size of a crow. The Microraptor was a meat-eating dinosaur.
In addition to the fossil of the Microraptor, the relics of two other dinosaurs are also under observation for the fossilized dandruff study. These two fossils are of the feathered dinosaurs namely beipiaosaurus and the sinornithosaurus. Their remains were retrieved from the rock formations in the North-eastern part of China. Also, the paleontologists found the tiny flakes of fossilized dandruff on the primitive bird named confuciusornis.
It is believed that the presence of the fossilized skin flakes is the only evidence with the scientists to study how the dinosaurs used to shed off their dermal layers. The fossils show that the dinosaurs used to shed their skin in the form of tiny dermal flakes. In lieu of this, most of the modern reptiles drop their outer dermal layer as one single piece.
Maria McNamara says, “This is the only fossil dandruff known. Until now we’ve had no evidence for how dinosaurs shed their skin.” Maria McNamara is engaged in the current studies on fossilized dandruff found on the Microraptor fossil. The study is being carried on at the University College Cork.
The images of the fossilized dandruff were snapped from the powerful electron microscope. The image reveals the careful preservation of the material. It is almost similar to that found on the modern birds. The skin flakes are formed of the tough cells. These tough cells are known as the corneocytes and made up of the protein named keratin.
The present study marks its presence in the Nature Communications.