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.

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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.

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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

Illustration for article titled New Research Reveals Dinosaur Coloration For The First Time
Illustration for article titled New Research Reveals Dinosaur Coloration For The First Time
Illustration for article titled New Research Reveals Dinosaur Coloration For The First Time
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