One of the greatest discoveries in the history of evolution research was a smallish fossilized dinosaur called archaeopteryx. It had your basic body; it appeared to have wings.
And it absolutely had feathers.
A link – nay, indeed, a missing link – between dinosaurs and birds. An open door to the thrilling idea that ducks on the pond, pigeons on the sidewalk and hawks circling in the sky all had distant dinosaur ancestors.
New research is beginning to reveal an exciting new aspect of ancient dinosaur feathers – their colours.
“It all started back in the 80s,” said Ryan Carney, a graduate researcher at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
“People had found small structures in these fossils of feathers that were thought to be fossil bacteria.”
But then, seven years ago, a Yale University student named Jakob Pinther revealed these were actually ancient pigment structures. They generate a substance called melanin – the main pigment responsible for colouration throughout the animalRead More »from What colour were the dinosaurs?