Dino 'mummies' were thick skinned

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Washington, Oct 29 : Scientists have found that the much hyped dinosaur "mummies", which are fossils with soft tissue and their last meals intact, were merely thick-skinned, suggesting that more may be found than paleontologists had previously expected.

Eric Lund of the Utah Museum of Natural History examined over a dozen newly discovered mummies in southern Utah.

According to a report in New Scientist, his analysis showed that these and other fossils all came from sand deposited in river beds that also contained remnants of wood and leaves - signs of a moist environment.

This means it was too wet to dry out and mummify a dinosaur carcass, Eric told the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Cleveland.

"It doesn't look like desiccation," he said.

However, the dinosaur fossils have attracted enormous attention ever since fossil hunter Charles H. Sternberg discovered the first one in Wyoming a century ago.

Leonardo, a duck-billed dinosaur, is the best-preserved dinosaur found to date, and is on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, in Texas.

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