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Schmidt-Schultz, Tyede H.; Reich, Mike and Schultz, Michael (2021): Exceptionally preserved extracellular bone matrix proteins from the late Neogene proboscidean Anancus (Mammalia: Proboscidea). In: Palz, Vol. 95, No. 4: pp. 757-765

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In an exceptional preservation state, bones conserve the entire pattern of extracellular bone matrix proteins over thousands or sometimes even millions of years. Here we present typical extracellular bone matrix proteins, which were extracted from a 3.0-million-year-old gomphothere proboscidean, and identified with special antibodies. For the first time, osteonectin, osteopontin and BMP-2 were confidently identified from the extinct Anancus arvernensis, based on late Pliocene material from Willershausen, Lower Saxony, Germany. Our study has value in demonstrating that the longevity of original extracellular bone matrix proteins is much greater than formerly expected, and that such materials may be stabilised for distinct geological periods of time, especially in Fossil Lagerstatten.

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