Light & Verity

Fossilized and fabulous

Michael DiGiorgio

Michael DiGiorgio

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As part of a continuing effort to blow the minds of everyone who grew up thinking all dinosaurs looked like earth-toned scaly lizards, researchers at Yale reported in February that at least one specimen had feathers colored like a modern-day woodpecker or ornamental chicken. By analyzing microscopic details in the fossilized feathers of a 150-million-year-old Anchiornis huxleyi, Yale biologist Richard Prum, geology graduate student Jakob Vinther, Peabody Museum director Derek Briggs, and an international team were able to determine the color pattern of the cat-sized dinosaur. In the future, the technique may reveal the vivid hues of other dinosaurs. “It was a very colorful world,” says Prum.  

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