'Micro-polygons' - only true identification of genuine dino skin

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Washington, June 17 (ANI): A new kind of fossil dinosaur skin discovered in South Korea may help sort out the real dinosaur hides from skin-like features in rocks - which actually have nothing to do with dinosaurs.

Two specimens of fossil dinosaur skin from Cretaceous Haman Formation in South Korea have been found in a pile of rocks blasted to construct a road. The find includes an entirely new type of skin texture.

The new skin texture is what appears to be "micro-polygons" within the impressions of reptilian scales.

At the same time, several types of sedimentary accidents that have nothing to do with dinosaurs, but which look very much like skin fossils, were discovered.

"Fossil skins with similar features to that found in the Haman Formation are interpreted to represent the skin of a hadrosaur or sauropod dinosaur. The development of micro-polygons..is a new feature of dinosaur skins, reported here for the first time," Discovery News quoted In Sung Paik, a geology professor at Pukyong National University in Busan, South Korea and lead author of the paper.

Palaeontologist Spencer Lucas of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science agreed that the fossil resembled hadrosaurs, but without some actual dinosaur bones to associate with the skin impressions, there will always be good reason to be sceptical.

"Experts in both dinosaur skin fossils and sedimentary structures can distinguish true skin impressions from inorganic sedimentary structures. However, non-specialists can misidentify inorganic sedimentary structures as skin impressions," In Sung Paik said.

The findings are published in the upcoming September issue of the Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. (ANI)

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