Can ovarian follicles fossilize?



ARISING FROM X. Zheng et al. Nature 495, 507–511(2013)10.1038/nature11985

In a recent report Zheng et al. describe ovarian follicles in three fossil birds from the Early Cretaceous period of China belonging to Jeholornis and two enantiornithine species1. Because these were situated in the left half of the body cavity of the fossils, the authors suppose that the right ovary was already reduced in these early birds1. Fossilization of ovarian follicles would constitute an extraordinary case of soft tissue preservation, but the morphology of the fossil structures does not agree with the ovulation mode of coelurosaurs. There is a Reply to this Brief Communication Arising by O'Connor, J., Zheng, X. & Zhou, Z. Nature 499, (2013).

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G.M. and A.M. contributed equally to the manuscript.

Correspondence to Albrecht Manegold.

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Mayr, G., Manegold, A. Can ovarian follicles fossilize?. Nature 499, E1 (2013).

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