Robert Farrar sent in this link, http://crev.info/2016/03/triassic-reptile-soft-tissue/ … which concerns a paper in the online journal PLoS One which documents the survival of soft tissue preserved in ancient reptiles from the Triassic. Soft tissue from Jurassic dinosaurs is also known – but we are going back over 200 million years ago.
The thrust of the web site link questions the length of time involved but the scientists that wrote the PLoS One article have other things on their mind. How does soft tissue become preserved in animals buried millions of years ago – can biomolecules be preserved over such a long period of time. Photographs of blood vessels preserved in iron minerals and within bones, and amino acid residues indicative of collagen are what is being talked about – not some flesh and skin hanging grimly on to a skeleton. This is said to contradict mainstream – described as conventional wisdom. In their wisdom they used models to arrive at a conclusion that such soft tissue should not have survived over such a long period of time – but models are all about the model makers. Mainstream says, or so we are told, 'no original organic components remain in Mesozoic vertebrate bones' – but the authors seem to show that is untrue. Are mainstream saying the blood vessels are not there but something else that looks like blood vessels under a microscope? The authors disagree – they say the new discovery demonstrates that soft tissue can be preserved in iron oxide coatings (derived from the animal's blood) and the preservation is probably quite common.
The full article can be read at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0151143