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dinosaur coloration

Alan Brush has asked me to forward a message he intended for the list.
So here it is (was that unceremonious or what :-):

  Although there is no direct evidence it is prudent to assume that
  dinos produced the full spectrum of epidermal pigments found in
  comtemporary aminotes. These are melanin and derivatives. These
  produce black/gray/ rust/ orange/red hues. It is possible that dinos
  may have produced colors physically, for example, iridescent or
  Rayleigh scattering. The latter would likely be limited in
  distribution, that is localized.
       What patterns were produced is yet another issue. Again, it is
  assumed that they possessed the genetic machinery to produce the
  full array of patterns such as bands, and spots. It would even be
  possible to produce stripes. Certainly countershading was achieved.
        What is not known is what role the colors and patterns played.
  Those are the subject of current speculation. However, the
  inferences regarding the chemical nature of the pigments, the
  mechanisms that produce the patterns (their distribution across the
  surface) are pretty well known.
         Hope this helps.
                                Alan Brush

  Physiology & Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs