'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird

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Gawdzilla Sama
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'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:09 pm

'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feath ... ummingbird

Date: January 16, 2018

Source: Field Museum

Summary: Scientists discovered a dinosaur fossil with feathers so well-preserved that they were able to see the feathers' microscopic color-bearing structures. By comparing the shapes of those feather structures with the structures in modern bird feathers, they're able to infer that the new dino, Caihong juji ('rainbow with the big crest') had iridescent rainbow feathers like a hummingbird.
Scientists discovered a dinosaur fossil with feathers so well-preserved that they were able to see the feathers' microscopic color-bearing structures. By comparing the shapes of those feather structures with the structures in modern bird feathers, they're able to infer that the new dino, Caihong juji ('rainbow with the big crest') had iridescent rainbow feathers like a hummingbird.

Birds are the last remaining dinosaurs. They're also some of the most vibrantly colored animals on Earth. A new study in Nature Communications reveals that iridescent feathers go way back -- a newly discovered species of dinosaur from 161 million years ago had rainbow coloring.

Caihong juji was tiny, about the size of a duck, with a bony crest on its head and long, ribbon-like feathers. And, based on analysis of its fossilized feathers, the feathers on its head, wings, and tail were probably iridescent, with colors that shimmered and shifted in the light. Its name reflects its appearance -- in Mandarin, it means, "rainbow with the big crest." The new species, which was first discovered by a farmer in northeastern China, was described by an international team of scientists led by Dongyu Hu, a professor in the College of Paleontology at the Shenyang Normal University in China.

"When you look at the fossil record, you normally only see hard parts like bone, but every once in a while, soft parts like feathers are preserved, and you get a glimpse into the past," says Chad Eliason, a postdoctoral researcher at The Field Museum and one of the study's authors. Eliason, who began work on the project as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, added, "The preservation of this dinosaur is incredible, we were really excited when we realized the level of detail we were able to see on the feathers."

When the scientists examined the feathers under powerful microscopes, they could see the imprints of melanosomes, the parts of cells that contain pigment. For the most part, the pigment that was once present was long gone, but the physical structure of the melanosomes remained. As it turns out, that was enough for scientists to be able to tell what color the feathers were.
Continues...

I bet he looked FABULOUS!!!
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Re: 'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird

Post by Poodle » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:16 pm


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Re: 'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:17 pm

Cool! I hadn't gotten down to that size on my morning patrol yet.
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Re: 'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird

Post by Austin Harper » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:21 pm

I continue to be amazed by the cool stuff humans can figure out from the smallest details.
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