Sister Discover Blog 80beats reports:
Fossilized dinosaur embryos, found still in their eggshells, have claimed the title of the oldest vertebrate embryos ever seen–they were fossilized in the early Jurassic Period, around 190 million years ago, researchers say. The embryos are from the species Massospondylus, a prosauropod, the family of dinosaurs which gave rise to iconic sauropods like the Brachiosaurus.
Of course, just because we found the well-preserved bones of a dinosaur embryo doesn’t mean we can bring the thing back to life with a snap of the fingers (or even with a crack scientific team “sparing no expense”). But remember that most scientists were very skeptical that any viable tissue could be found in dinosaur bones until Mary Schweitzer did just that—and faced a lot of misguided attacks before her results were confirmed.
The 2007 discovery of a perfectly preserved, 40,000 year-old baby mammoth raised hopes that the animal’s high-quality DNA could lead to a revival of the species via cloning.
This week, an elaborately produced documentary from National Geographic Channel traces the path of the baby mammoth (“Lyuba”) from discovery in Siberia to analysis in Russia and Japan, as scientists try to piece together the details of its life and death.
Researchers recently recovered fragments of genetic material from some of the very first humans to live on the North American continent. Sadly for scientists, the material wasn’t found in some pretty piece of amber, but rather in fossilized faeces discovered in Oregon.