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Re: BBC Radio Show on Fossil Colour



There's some stuff from the Santana Formation (Aptian) that apparently preserves colour:

Martill, D.M., Frey, E., 1995. Colour patterning preserved in Lower Cretaceous
birds and insects: the Crato Formation of N.E. Brazil. Neues Jahrbuch
fu r Geologie und PalaÂontologie, Monatschefte 1995, 118e128.


Heads, S.W., Martill, D.M., Loveridge, R.F., 2005. An exceptionally preserved
antlion (Insecta, Neuroptera) with colour pattern preservation from the
Cretaceous of Brazil. Palaeontology 48, 1409e1417.



I have a vague recollection of a turtle from the Santana that preserved colour as well, but I can't think of the reference (the paper may have been by Ren Hirayama?)




Dann Pigdon wrote:

Skin colouration has been preserved in some fossil frogs (from Africa I think), but they weren't nearly as old as Mesozoic. Electronmicroscopy of fossil fish scales has also revealed the exact spacing of their microstriations, which can be used to determine the colours of light they would have reflected.
Other than those examples, I can't think of any reliable ways to determine skin/scale *colour* in fossil species. I seem to recall one of the recent hadrosaur mummies may have had stains that could have been skin markings (stripes if I remember correctly), and I seem to recall someone mentioning patterns preserved on some of the fossil feather impressions coming out of China, but I doubt that such markings are ever in their original colours.
___________________________________________________________________
Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com
___________________________________________________________________





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Colin McHenry
Computation Biomechanics Research Group http://www.compbiomech.com/
School of Engineering (Mech Eng)
University of Newcastle
NSW 2308

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