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EXPERIMENTAL MATURATION OF FEATHERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERPRETATIONS OF FOSSIL FEATHERS
Zhao, Tao1,2; Hu, Jianfang3; Hu, Liang1,2,4; Pan, Yanhong (潘艳红)1,2
2020-02-01
Source PublicationPALAIOS
ISSN0883-1351
Volume35Issue:2Pages:67-76
Abstract

Exceptionally preserved fossil feathers and feather-like integumentary structures provide valuable insights into the early evolution of feathers and flight, but taphonomic biases often make interpretations at the microstructural and ultrastructural levels ambiguous. Maturation experiments have been demonstrated to be useful for investigating the taphonomic alterations of soft tissues, including feathers, during diagenesis. however, experimentally matured feathers resembling fossil feathers preserving keratinous matrix have not yet been obtained. Here we employ experimental maturation to obtain feathers corresponding to different degradation stages, and compare these matured feathers with untreated feathers and fossil feathers at the macroscopic, microstructural, and ultrastructural levels. Results show that several features of thermally matured feathers are similar to those found in fossil feathers. The fusion of barbules that occurred in thermally matured feathers suggests that such a process could occur during diagenesis, making barbules difficult to identify in fossil feathers. Under the most extreme experimental condition, the keratinous matrix can partially survive when the whole feather is turned into ash-like remains and many melanosomes are exposed. Moreover, our results show that the keratinous matrix immediately surrounding melanosomes appears to be more resistant to degradation than the unpigmented keratinous matrix, supporting the hypothesis that melanin can act as a fixative agent to prevent the degradation of keratin.

DOI10.2110/palo.2019.064
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
WOS KeywordCOLOR PATTERNS ; SOFT-TISSUE ; KERATIN ; MELANOSOMES ; PRESERVATION ; DINOSAURS ; EVOLUTION ; MELANIN ; CHINA ; BIRD
Funding ProjectStrategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences[XDB26000000] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41872016] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41688103] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41602012] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41907013] ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS
WOS Research AreaGeology ; Paleontology
WOS SubjectGeology ; Paleontology
WOS IDWOS:000518195300002
Funding OrganizationStrategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences ; National Natural Science Foundation of China ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS
PublisherSEPM-SOC SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.nigpas.ac.cn/handle/332004/31648
Collection中国科学院南京地质古生物研究所
Corresponding AuthorPan, Yanhong (潘艳红)
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Palaeobiol & Stratigraph, Nanjing Inst Geol & Palaeontol, Nanjing 210008, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Ctr Excellence Life & Paleoenvironm, Nanjing 210008, Peoples R China
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Guangzhou Inst Geochem, State Key Lab Organ Geochem, Guangzhou 510640, Peoples R China
4.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhao, Tao,Hu, Jianfang,Hu, Liang,et al. EXPERIMENTAL MATURATION OF FEATHERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERPRETATIONS OF FOSSIL FEATHERS[J]. PALAIOS,2020,35(2):67-76.
APA Zhao, Tao,Hu, Jianfang,Hu, Liang,&Pan, Yanhong .(2020).EXPERIMENTAL MATURATION OF FEATHERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERPRETATIONS OF FOSSIL FEATHERS.PALAIOS,35(2),67-76.
MLA Zhao, Tao,et al."EXPERIMENTAL MATURATION OF FEATHERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERPRETATIONS OF FOSSIL FEATHERS".PALAIOS 35.2(2020):67-76.
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