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Re: Pigments



>>From http://www.apnet.com/inscight/08131997/graphb.htm
>quoting:
>        "paper to be published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society
>describes
>red and silver pigment cells in a 370-million-year-old fish. The finding
>offers
>further evidence that color vision is a very old evolutionary adaptation
>and raises the possibility that dinosaur pigments may have survived as
>well."
>
>        Sorry if someone else got the scoop to the list first...
>
>S. Hill

The dude in question is Andrew Parker who studied at Cambridge witht their
Brugess Shale crew. He is currently with the Australian Museum in Sydney.
He has found surface structures called defraction gratings on a number of
blind Burgess Shale animals suchs as Wiwaxia. Defraction gratings are the
structures that give CDs their rainbow colours. Parker argues that these
could have only evolved in responce to predators with coloured vision (in
the Burges Shale!). Further, he suggests that the introduction of sight to
in the middle Cambrian was the spur for the Cambrian Explosion. For the
first time predators could locate pray by means other than coming into
physical contact.

Parker has also done some work on placoderm and crossopterygian fish from
Canowindra in New South Wales and found various colour pigment cell
structure. He is hopeful of being able to work dinosaur skin impressions.
I'll keep you posted.

Cheers,

Paul


Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd
pwillis@ozemail.com.au