Beta-keratin specific immunological reactivity in feather-like structures of the Cretaceous Alvarezsaurid, Shuvuuia deserti
Article first published online: 30 JUL 1999
Copyright © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Experimental Zoology
Volume 285, Issue 2, pages 146–157, 15 August 1999
How to Cite
Schweitzer, M.H., Watt, J.A., Avci, R., Knapp, L., Chiappe, L., Norell, M. and Marshall, M. (1999), Beta-keratin specific immunological reactivity in feather-like structures of the Cretaceous Alvarezsaurid, Shuvuuia deserti. J. Exp. Zool., 285: 146–157. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19990815)285:2<146::AID-JEZ7>3.0.CO;2-A
- Issue published online: 26 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 1999
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUN 1999
- Manuscript Received: 4 MAR 1999
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: EAR 97-53187
We report small fibrous structures associated with a new specimen of Shuvuuia deserti, which we hypothesize are remnants of feather-like epidermal appendages. Multiple analyses suggest that these structures are epidermally derived and contain epitopes consistent with β-keratin, a protein expressed only in extant “reptiles” and birds. Morphological, microscopic, mass spectrometric, and immunohistochemical studies are consistent with the interpretation that these structures are related to feathers. These data suggest that proteinaceous components may survive across geological time and support the view that alvarezsaurids (Shuvuuia and its allies) are either a lineage of birds or are a lineage phylogenetically close to them. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 285:146–157, 1999. © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.