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Re: PALEONEWS: Did dinosaurs come in different colors?

there was a discussion on-list a couple of years ago about preserved
pigmentation and interference and such:

(Alan Brush discussing color molecules)

(start of thread on fossil pigmentation)

(additional single post-preservation of  color in gastropods)

(additional additional thread-pigment discussion)

some refs on fossil color preservation:

Also a discussion on the differences of how dinosaur vision would
probably perceive the same colors we were looking at:

-Betty Cunningham

nicholas roy longrich wrote:
>         This summer I got to see what appear to be preserved dinosaur
> *stripes*, believe it or not, one of the few cases I know of any truly
> ancient animals preserving a coloration pattern. Well, actually I don't
> know of any others. Unfortunately, these are Eocene (i.e. avian). They are
> a series of bands on the tail feathers of a Green River Formation bird, so
> far undescribed but on display in a national park (I've already forgotten
> the name of it, but I visited it this summer- it consists of a whole bunch
> of petrified stumps up to something like 4 meters in diameter). Whether or
> not these feather bands represent actual coloration, I don't know- I
> suppose it would depend on whether the dark banding represents the actual
> pigment (melanin?) or just a breakdown by-product of something or other
> staining those parts of the fossil.
>         I suppose you could do antibody testing for pigment compounds-
> would they be stable enough to stick around? But as anybody out there
> who's mucked around with paint can tell you, it's all about the
> proportions, and I seriously doubt if you could get much beyond, say,
> simple presence or absence of pigments. And then feathers often generate
> color not with pigment but with iridescence. But would that kind of
> microstructure be preserved? We're talking about structure on the order of
> light wavelengths, right- nanometers? (I should know this, but I spent a
> lot of time goofing off in physics >;)

Flying Goat Graphics
(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)