tadpoles from the Spanish site of Libros (Teruel) from 10 million years ago. of years. “These experiments, therefore, allow us to better understand the conditions in which those fossils could have formed”, details Anabel López-Archilla, researcher at the Microbial Ecology Laboratory of the UAM. Not all parts of the body fossilize the same Another important aspect highlighted in the article is that frog fossilization does not occur in a homogeneous way, that is, it does not happen in all tissues in the same way. This phenomenon had been previously observed in some fossils, which has generated a wide debate and produced different hypotheses for its explanation. However, the work shows for the first time, in an experimental way, how it could happen. When analyzing the interior of the preserved skull of the frogs, the researchers observed that a certain region of the brain,

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the optic lobe in particular, in Maldives Email Lists addition to being preserved, had begun to mineralize, that is, to change its original organic composition by minerals. The researchers argue that this transformation would allow its conservation for millions of years. “These results may explain some aspects of the fossils found in the Libros site, but also much older fossils such as those of Las Hoyas (Cuenca), which date from the Cretaceous and are around 120 million years old”, explains Miguel Iniesto , researcher at the University of Burgundy and also author of the work. Ángela Delgado, from the UAM Paleontology Laboratory, co-author and principal investigator of the project in charge of studying the Las Hoyas deposit, explains that “the potential importance of microbial mats in the formation of fossils is evident. They not only seem to intervene in the delay of the decomposition of the bodies,

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but also in the mineralization processes. Given the complexity at all levels that this microbial community presents, the processes that give rise to the formation of a fossil could be very diverse ”. Finally, the authors highlight the need to continue with very long-term experimentation, and to compare it with the fossil record to determine the real impact of this community of microorganisms in those deposits where they could be present at the time of their formation. What is it that makes us properly human? This is the starting point for the next edition of B · Debate, directed by Jaume Bertranpetit and Elena Bosch, both principal researchers at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology ( IBE , UPF-CSIC). On July 17 and 18, high-level international researchers will meet at the Palau Macaya to try to understand the genetic bases of our uniqueness as human

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