Fossil Pigments Reveal the Colors of Ancient Sea Monsters

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posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:50 AM
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www.sciencedaily.com...


During the Age of the dinosaurs, huge reptiles, such as mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs, ruled the seas. Previously, scientists could only guess what colours these spectacular animals had; however, pigment preserved in fossilised skin has now been analysed at SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and MAX IV Laboratory, Lund University, Sweden. The unique soft tissue remains were obtained from a 55 million-year-old leatherback turtle, an 85 million-year-old mosasaur and a 196-190 million-year-old ichthyosaur. This is the first time that the colour scheme of any extinct marine animal has been revealed.





Preserved pigment in fossilized skin from a leatherback turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur suggests that these animals were, at least partially, dark-colored in life -- an example of convergent evolution. Note that the leatherback turtle and mosasaur have a dark back and light belly (a color scheme also known as countershading), whereas the ichthyosaur, similar to the modern deep-diving sperm whale, is uniformly dark-colored. (Credit: Illustration by Stefan Sølberg)


Just thought this would be pretty cool to share.

For the first time, the color scheme of extinct marine animals has been found. Although their colors are pretty dull, atleast shown in the picture, (The picture above is from the article), this is still pretty cool to me.

Hopefully they will be able to do the same with land animals of the same time. Ive always wondered what the color of a T Rex, Velociraptor, etc... basically all the dinosaurs, would be.




posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 01:54 AM
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Hopefully they will be able to do the same with land animals of the same time. Ive always wondered what the color of a T Rex, Velociraptor, etc... basically all the dinosaurs, would be.


Most likely a very wide range in coloration the same as today. T-Rex may turn out to be very colorful as hiding and ambush was not his style. Whereas a Velociraptor might be patterned and colored to blend in. It would be interesting to find out and full of surprises I'm sure.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 02:09 AM
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Nature seems to like to adapt her animals, etc etc to whatever fits in with their environment best so I am not surprised at the colours on these ancient beasts.

I suspect were we looking at examples from a rain forest or place with vibrant coloured plants etc, especially where feathers were grown, the colours would also be vibrant so to blend in.





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