Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colorful Dinos

This changes everything. All future movies that show dinosaurs will have to do away with grey-colored, lizard-skin look. Oh yeah, and we've got to add feather too. This should be great news to all you chicken-lovers. You are now the proud owners of the decendents of dinosaurs.

How do you determine the color of a dinosaur from fossil imprints? Well, it has do be done indirectly. Paleontologists have discovered fossils of feathered dinosaurs. When these feathers were examined microscopically, dark rod-shaped structures were seen that at first were thought to be bacteria. Turns out they are melanosomes, structures that contain the pigment melinin. The melanosomes are not only present in feathers but also in the skin. You can read more about this discovery here.

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