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UT Austin Study Raises Question: Why Are Fossilized Hairs so Rare?

A bird fossil with some feathers intact. Julia Clarke.

New research led by The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)┬áhas found that when it comes to preserving body parts, fossilized hair is rare–five times rarer than feathers–despite being an important tool for understanding ancient species. This finding has researchers trying to determine if the lack of hair in the fossil record has to do with physical traits that might make it more difficult for hair to fossilize.

The National Science Foundation, Sept. 7, 2017

UPI, Sept. 7, 2017

 

Featuring: Julia Clarke, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences; Chad Eliason, former postdoctoral researcher.