Friday, January 29, 2010

What color were dinosaurs?

Likely many different colors, but how to determine it?

New research in Nature this week by Zhang et al., lays the groundwork, using fossilized skin pigment cells, melanosomes, to assess pigmentation.

From their abstract:
"Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones."


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