20 January 2010

Dinosaur colours next week?

Back in grad school, I remember reading a comment by paleo artist David Paul, who said something to the effect of, “In reconstructing dinosaurs, what colour they were is the most asked, the least important, and the least knowable.”

Fast forward to September, 2009. Carl Zimmer posts on his blog, The Loom, “Old Colors: First Birds, Then Dinosaurs?”, which ended with a great big tease:

There are now lots of dinosaur fossils that have what just about all scientists agree now are feathers. If they’re preserved well enough, you should be able to put them under a microscope and see melanosomes. And if you can make out their patterns…

Stay tuned.

And I thought, “Does the good Mr. Zimmer know something about this that I don’t?”

And then, today’s Nature podcast ended with:

Next time, tune in for news on coloured dinosaur feathers...

Ack!

I cannot tell you how much I am awaiting next week’s issue of Nature.

Epidexipteryx hui

1 comment:

Neil said...

See <a href="http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/5/522.abstract>Vinther et al. 2008</a> for some preliminary work along these lines.