Scientists Discover Dinosaur's True Colors

February 8, 2010


Finally scientists have proven that, despite what popular kid's programs would have you believe, dinosaurs were not all purple and sing-songy and allowed near children. Nope, some has feathers. Red ones.

The researchers removed 29 chips, each the size of a poppy seed, from across the dinosaur's body. Mr. Vinther put the chips under a microscope and discovered melanosomes.

To figure out the colors of Anchiornis feathers, Mr. Vinther and his colleagues turned to Matthew Shawkey, a University of Akron biologist who has made detailed studies of melanosome patterns in living birds. Dr. Shawkey can accurately predict the color of feathers from melanosomes alone. The scientists used the same method to decipher Anchiornis's color pattern.

Anchiornis had a crown of reddish feathers surrounding dark gray ones, and its face was mottled with reddish and black spots. Its body was dark gray, but its limb feathers were white with black tips.

Given the full detail of the findings, Dr. Prum said, "it was like writing the first entry in a Jurassic field guide to feathered dinosaurs."

" writing the first entry in a Jurassic field guide to feathered dinosaurs." Where the hell do these people come up with this stuff? Because I want their power of similes. Could you imagine? A word wizard of my caliber mastering the art of similes? I'd be like an unstoppable tornado of raw power and supple skin that you just want to feel against your cheek so badly but can't BECAUSE I'M A F***ING RAGING TORNADO AND WILL TEAR YOUR GOTDAMN HOUSE DOWN. Suck it, wolf.

Evidence Builds on Color of Dinosaurs [nytimes]
True-Color Dinosaur Revealed: First Full-Body Rendering [nationalgeographic]

Thanks to Ryan, littlezan, big jerm, Shea, Divo, Da, Meow vs Meow, lauren!, Foxx, Anonymous_Rex, ellen, Amanda, Alan, Gabriel, Jujufruit, Griffin, Gavin, Sydney, Jennifer, Mike, Max, Brent, danundertheice, Chupacabra, Jonathan, Dustin, graf zeppelin, The Coffee Mugger, Aleisha and anybody else whose email I couldn't find because the mail sorter at the internet post office is a jerk, I love dinos and so should you.

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