Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Origin Of Dinosaur Color

Rarcheseers announced for the first time that they had been able to place original colors on a dinosaur.This is done by painting in striking stripes on Sinosauropteryx's tail based on new evidence of pigment particles. Researchers haven't glimpsed the actual Jurassic period colors in either Sinosauropteryx or A. huxleyi. Scientists have found evidence of some of the original coloration of a dinosaur, showing that it had rings of orange-brown bristly feathers around its tail. Rendition of Sinosauropteryx's

Under microscopes the scientists can see the fossilized shapes of melanosomes, organelles that provide pigment via melanin. Julia Clarke, an associate professor of paleontology at the University of Texas at Austin said that "This means a color-patterning function—in the early evolution of feathers in dinosaurs”.

Fossils have revealed a lot about the lives of dinosaurs, but researchers always used to think that the fossil record couldn't show what color they were. This implies that fossils tend to preserve an animal's hard parts, like bones and teeth, and not soft parts like skin.

But feathers are made of tough proteins. "And, in fact, they can survive even in conditions where other internal organs, such as muscles and guts and brains and so on, will disappear," says Benton.Color Dino Feather Fossils

"When you look at the feathers, you don't know what the colors were. The feathers are a mixture of brownish colors," says Benton. "They're just preserved either as sort of dirty, whitish, beige kind of color and a kind of darker, equally dirty kind of brownish color."For the first time ever, we have evidence, we believe fairly watertight evidence, of the original color," says Benton.

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