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Prehistoric mammal hairs found in amber

Posted on Tuesday, 15 June, 2010 | Comment icon 10 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Hannes Grobe

Palaeontologists have discovered two 100-million year-old hairs perfectly preserved inside amber.

The hairs are remarkably similar to those found on modern mammals and were discovered in southwest France. "Our specimens are the oldest known hair specimens in which we can observe the cuticular structure," says Dr Romain Vullo of the University of Rennes.

"Palaeontologists have discovered two mammal hairs encased in 100 million-year-old amber."

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 Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by danielost on 14 June, 2010, 16:44
what hair couldnt have floated there from an animal that lost it near by.
Comment icon #2 Posted by lp21why on 14 June, 2010, 16:49
what hair couldnt have floated there from an animal that lost it near by. It was found inside amber, which is solid. It sets very quickly once exposed to air which suggests the mammal brushed against it while it was unset.
Comment icon #3 Posted by danielost on 14 June, 2010, 22:04
It was found inside amber, which is solid. It sets very quickly once exposed to air which suggests the mammal brushed against it while it was unset. i understand but there is a chance however small that it floated there before it set.
Comment icon #4 Posted by rashore on 15 June, 2010, 11:17
yeah, but amber is fossilized resin... the animal would have had to had it's hairs float into it a really long time ago before it fossilized... Still, hairs from a really really long time ago.
Comment icon #5 Posted by DieChecker on 15 June, 2010, 17:06
Agree. It is impossible that these are modern animal hair, there is just no way for hair to migrate into fossilized amber. The age of the hair must match the age of the amber.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Razer on 16 June, 2010, 1:24
Wow, so they found really old mammal hair that is a lot like the hair of living mammals, is there a surprise here that I am missing?
Comment icon #7 Posted by danielost on 16 June, 2010, 1:38
who said anything about hair floating into amber. i meant into the resin. but the main thing is that mammal hair has always been the same.
Comment icon #8 Posted by nognome on 18 June, 2010, 7:39
i was watching an interesting david attenborough doco last month,he had a tiny piece of amber he gave to a german scientist lady who found much much more inside the amber than david realised.a whole mini diarama of the ecosystem of that time..i find it amazing,although they made it quite clear that while they had dna of deceased species,the molecular structure was way to broken up to ever re-create that species..
Comment icon #9 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 23 June, 2010, 16:50
*Cue Jurassic Park theme music* "We've made living biological attractions so astounding that they'll capture the imagination of the entire planet." -John Hammond
Comment icon #10 Posted by Squidlet on 23 June, 2010, 23:49
Cue YECs claiming this is proof of a young Earth in 3... 2... 1... bingo.

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