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Re: Black Feather Colour in Archaeopteryx




On 10 Nov 2011, at 04:27, Mike Keesey wrote:

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 6:43 PM, Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

As reported in New Scientist:

[Ryan] Carney and colleagues used scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analyses to detect the melanosomes [of an Archaeopteryx feather], then compared this data to similar feathers in a database of 87 modern bird species. The feather, he says, was most probably black. While the full colour pattern of Archaeopteryx has yet to be uncovered, Carney noted that melanosomes on the black feather have structural properties which may have strengthened the feathers for the demands of flight. The miniscule structures which hide the secrets of prehistoric
colour were not just for show.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21146-archaeopteryx-was- robed-in-black.html

Awe-inspiring work!

BUT ... since this specimen is an isolated feather, isn't it more
accurate to say that some Solnhofen aviremigian, *possibly
Archaeopteryx*, had at least some black feathers?

--
T. Michael Keesey
http://tmkeesey.net/

That is true...but it seems that I >was< right anyway :)!
See http://www.luisrey.ndtilda.co.uk/html/archaeo.htm
After seemingly having a blunder with Sinosauropteryx I deserved a win...


Luis Rey

Visit my website
http://www.luisrey.ndtilda.co.uk