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I Invite You to See the True Colours of Feathered Dinosaur

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posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:08 PM
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Until now colour of feathered dinosaurs species, such as Archaeopteryx, varied greatly depending on the author - and/or the artist's mood. And if you were to ask two scientists about the colour of such dinosaurs, you would have get two different answers.

To be fair, until now it was indeed impossible to tell the colour of dinosaur feathers. Along with dinosaur bones, feathers leave a colourless fossilized impression. So we pretty much had to guess the colour, based on their environment.

But now that is about to change.

Two researches now (on at Brown University, another from Yale) revealed that melanosomes (responsible for pigment) in dinosaur feathers could survive through fossilization - this means over 65 million years of fossil state - and show up with the fossilized remains. Using chemical analysis, it is now possible to work out which pigment was present in the feathers - and finally stop guessing.


the new study analyzed color-imparting structures called melanosomes from an entire fossil of a single animal, a feat which enabled researchers to reveal rich color patterns of the entire animal.




Discovering the colour of every single feathered dinosaurs will be a long journey, though:


The science establishing feather chemistry as indicative of true color is still new, so there hasn't been time to test every fossil with intact feathers out there. That will likely change soon, as other paleontologists apply these new techniques to isolate coloration chemicals in specimens worldwide.




But the good news is, the actual colour of a dinosaur has already been worked out and published.

According to the Yale study, the feathered dinosaur Anchiornis huxleyi had quite a colourful plumage:



Finally a clearer picture of our fascinating past!


edit on 28-8-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: swanne

Makes sense, basically reverse spectroscopy.




posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: swanne

Well I'll be darned.

Pretty little thing isn't it?



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:33 PM
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originally posted by: redhorse

Pretty little thing isn't it?


Indeed. Anchiornis huxleyi also has flight feathers on its legs, so it practically has four wings.



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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I wonder if that dinosaur said Meep Meep!




posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:47 PM
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Outstanding!



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:52 PM
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FINALLY!!!
this is going to be great!!



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: swanne

Very cool!
On the other hand...It reminded me of this song (NSFW)






posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 02:59 PM
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originally posted by: rupertg
I wonder if that dinosaur said Meep Meep!



Aren't they able to use 3D printing to model the nasal chambers of dinosaur and get an approximation of what they might have sounded like now?



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:01 PM
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Not surprised they have colors. If it's true birds are related, then it would only make sense. The colors are for show and display. Wonder if both sexes showed color or only males, and if the colors were across all species or only some.



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:08 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Yes, sound can be partly guessed from the nasal chambers but there is a second variable: the complete structure of the dinosaur's throat.

Unfortunately, vocal organs are made of soft tissue which hardly makes it through the fossilization process.




edit on 28-8-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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Great thread. Well presented.

S&F

As far as the subject, its incredible. This is why science is like making magic. Imagine how many future scientists this discovery will inspire. Imaginations run wild trying to see the past in a new perspective.

Freaking amazing.



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:35 PM
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a reply to: swanne
It's a huge leap from what they were teaching when I was in school. Back then, they said dinosaurs were reptiles. If they figure out what other dinosaurs, including T Rex, looked like I wonder how that would affect future movies like Jurassic Park. Knowing Hollywood, it probably wouldn't change much. They'd still be lizards. Anyway, cool find.



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

I'm old enough that when I was in first grade, they were still teaching that dinosaurs all were slow, heavy creatures that lived in swamps because they'd crush themselves under their own weight otherwise. That they had no real idea why they all died out so suddenly.



I was so fascinated by them after that brief unit in school, that I checked out all kinds of dinosaur books all summer between first and second grade and skipped about 3 reading levels over the summer just teaching myself how to read dinosaur names.



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:44 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

im with you on that!
wow..how things have changed.
these "new" dinos are so exciting!



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:45 PM
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Not entirely convinced they didn't just copy a hoopoe's plumage.



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 03:59 PM
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originally posted by: rupertg
I wonder if that dinosaur said Meep Meep!


Well, aren't you a "Wile E." one!



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 04:02 PM
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a reply to: Badgered1

Is there some sort of law which prevents species from sharing similar colour patterns?

Given the ressemblance of grackles with crows, of black-headed chickadee with Blackpoll warbler, and of the blue grosbeak with the bluebird, I would say "no".



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 04:13 PM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: Badgered1

Is there some sort of law which prevents species from sharing similar colour patterns?

Given the ressemblance of grackles with crows, of black-headed chickadee with Blackpoll warbler, and of the blue grosbeak with the bluebird, I would say "no".


Not at all. It was more a musing on my part. First thing than came into my head when I saw the artist's impression was, "hoopoe." Very similar.
There are many extant birds with similar plumage to one another, as you note. The zebra finch also shares some of these pigmentations. I'm sure there was plenty of study on the melanosomes to create a rough template of colours of achiorynis. However, I can't help but think that some artistic license was taken by the artist and a hoopoe used as a template.

edit on 28-8-2015 by Badgered1 because: addition, and because I can't leave things alone!



posted on Aug, 28 2015 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: swanne
Nice. S&F.



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