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Re: Black Feather Colour in Archaeopteryx

On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 10:17 AM, Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com> wrote:
> There has been a _general_ critique on the recovery of melanosomes in general:
> Lingham-Soliar, T. & Plodowski, G. 2010. The integument of Psittacosaurus 
> from Liaoning Province, China: Taphonomy, epidermal patterns and color of a 
> ceratopsian dinosaur. _Naturwissenschaften_ 97(5):479-86.
>   At question is specifically the possible contamination of algal biofilms 
> rather than true melanosomes on the structures in question, although this was 
> raised specifically to > contradict the recovery in specimens with body 
> fossils

If I recall correctly, the way the authors at the SVP meeting put it
was that bacterial biofilms can look like melanosomes, and that's
about it, so there's an overall shape issue not, for example, a
chemical issue or anything like that. SO if' they're melanosomes, then
they'll also look like some rounded bacteria. The authors also noted
that there was a strong orientation to the structures, and, unless I'm
misremembering, closely associated rock matrix, like where the feather
'unzipped', had none of the structures.