MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
RSS
Logo IMG
HOME > SCIENCE IN THE NEWS > Science Detail

SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Fossil Ink Sacs Yield Jurassic Pigment--A First

from National Geographic News

The ink's been dry for 160 million years--but scientists have for the first time confirmed pigment in two fossilized ink sacs from cuttlefish-like animals, a new study says.

The ancient ink's similarity to modern squid ink suggests this defensive weapon hasn't evolved much since the Jurassic period (prehistoric time line). The brownish-black fossil pigment--a type of melanin called eumelanin--is widespread in the animal kingdom, for example in bird feathers, squid ink, and human hair and skin. The substance has various functions, including protection from the sun and camouflage.

Scientists have previously found hints of eumelanin in fossils, but they've done it through indirect, less reliable means--such as by analyzing images of presumed granules, which is problematic in part because melanin granules resemble bacteria, said study co-author John Simon.

Read more...

 

Connect With Us:

    Pinterest Icon Google+ Icon Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Sm


Subscribe to Our Content!

Visit our RSS Feeds page to choose among 13 customized feeds, or create a free My AmSci account to request an email notice whenever a specified author, department or discipline appears online.


Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • Sigma Xi SmartBrief:

    A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


EMAIL TO A FRIEND :

Of Possible Interest

Science In The News Daily: Dam Removal to Help Restore Spawning Grounds

Science In The News Daily: A Three-Way Partnership at the Bottom of the Sea

Science In The News Daily: Mammoths Didn't Go Out with a Bang

Subscribe to American Scientist