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> What are the chances that some of the pigments might be long lived and
> available in the rock matrix around some fossils. I have no good idea if
> any pigments are longer lived than chlorophyll, xanthophyll, carotene and
> the like but someone may know. I am reminded of the kid? that found skin
> impressions in digs where the bone folks hafd ignored or missed the
> impressions. Could remnants, no necessarily visible, tell of color in
> some instances?
I know that colour banding in bivalves and gastropods has been
recorded as far back as the Devonian. I have also looked at the
preservation of colour in Pleistogene gastropods from New Zealand,
but have found that the proteins producing the colour have decomposed
leaving only a shaddow where once there was colour. My part of the
study was to look at the animals using UV light (both living and
fossil), but a search for the 'pigment' was also made. I will try
and find out what the results were. I think it was published in
Science or Nature last year.
Curator of Palaeontology
University of Glasgow
Mountains are found in erogenous zones.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)