Can ovarian follicles fossilize?

Subjects

Abstract

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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12368 (2013).

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Zheng, X. et al. Preservation of ovarian follicles reveals early evolution of avian reproductive behaviour. Nature 495, 507–511 (2013)

  2. 2

    Benton, M. J., Zhonghe, Z., Orr, P. J., Fucheng, Z. & Kearns, S. L. The remarkable fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China and how they have changed our knowledge of Mesozoic life. Proc. Geol. Assoc. 119, 209–228 (2008)

  3. 3

    Zhang, F. et al. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds. Nature 463, 1075–1078 (2010)

  4. 4

    Dal Sasso, C. & Signore, M. Exceptional soft tissue preservation in a theropod dinosaur from Italy. Nature 392, 383–387 (1998)

  5. 5

    Fisher, P. E. et al. Cardiovascular evidence for an intermediate or higher metabolic rate in an ornithischian dinosaur. Science 288, 503–505 (2000)

  6. 6

    Cleland, T. P., Stoskopf, M. K. & Schweitzer, M. H. Histological, chemical and morphological reexamination of the “heart” of a small Late Cretaceous Thescelosaurus . Naturwissenschaften 98, 203–211 (2011)

  7. 7

    Sasanami, T., Pan, J. & Mori, M. Expression of perivitelline membrane glycoprotein ZP1 in the liver of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) after in vivo treatment with diethylstilbestrol. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 84, 109–116 (2003)

  8. 8

    Chen, P.-J., Dong, Z.-M. & Zhen, S.-N. An exceptionally well-preserved theropod dinosaur from the Yixian Formation of China. Nature 391, 147–152 (1998)

  9. 9

    Sato, T., Cheng, Y.-N., Wu, X.-C., Zelenitsky, D. K. & Hsiao, Y.-F. A pair of shelled eggs inside a female dinosaur. Science 308, 375 (2005)

  10. 10

    Varricchio, D. J., Jackson, F., Borowski, J. J. & Horner, J. R. Nest and egg clutches of the dinosaur Troodon formosus and the evolution of avian reproductive traits. Nature 385, 247–250 (1997)

  11. 11

    Zelenitsky, D. K. Reproductive traits of non-avian theropods. J. Paleont. Soc. Korea 22, 209–216 (2006)

  12. 12

    Griffiths, P. The question of Compsognathus eggs. Rev. Paleobiol. Spec. Iss. 7, 85–94 (1993)

  13. 13

    Reisdorf, A. G. & Wuttke, M. Re-evaluating Moodie’s opisthotonic-posture hypothesis in fossil vertebrates part I: reptiles — the taphonomy of the bipedal dinosaurs Compsognathus longipes and Juravenator starki from the Solnhofen Archipelago (Jurassic, Germany). Palaeobio . Palaeoenv. 92, 119–168 (2012)

  14. 14

    Zheng, S. & Zhou, Z. A new Mesozoic Ginkgo from western Liaoning,China, and its evolutionary significance. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 131, 91–103 (2004)

  15. 15

    Lerosey-Aubril, R. et al. Controls on gut phosphatisation: The trilobites from the Weeks Formation Lagerstätte (Cambrian; Utah). PLoS ONE 7, e32934 (2012)

Download references

Author information

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

Correspondence to Albrecht Manegold.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

Declared none.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mayr, G., Manegold, A. Can ovarian follicles fossilize?. Nature 499, E1 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12367

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.