New Research Reveals Dinosaur Coloration For The First Time

Last week we reported on the discovery that dinosaurs had red, black, and gray feathers. This week, scientists announced that a separate discovery revealed what the dinosaurs' plumage actually looked like. And here's the most scientifically-accurate rendering yet.

According to National Geographic, which has the story:

The subject of the new study-the 155-million-year-old Anchiornis huxleyi-turns out to have looked something like a woodpecker the size of a chicken, with black-and-white spangled wings and a rusty red crown (see animation above).

The color patterns on Anchiornis's limbs are "quite similar to the silver-spangled Hamburg chicken, a domestic breed of ornamental chicken," said ornithologist Richard Prum of Yale University . . . The chicken-size dinosaur species' color patterns were decoded after the researchers had used a scanning electron microscope to study pigment samples taken from fossil feathers all over a specimen and then compared the samples to pigment from modern birds.


The new study appears in Science. I love that the researchers basically say it looks like a chicken. This is really messing with all my Ray Harryhausen fantasies.

via National Geographic and Science


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