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Re: Dino-fuzz found in amber?
Here is the 'dino-fuzz' abstract from Science:
A Diverse Assemblage of Late Cretaceous Dinosaur and Bird Feathers from
Ryan C. McKellar,1* Brian D. E. Chatterton,1 Alexander P. Wolfe,1 Philip J.
The fossil record of early feathers has relied on carbonized compressions
that lack fine structural detail. Specimens in amber are preserved in
greater detail, but they are rare. Late Cretaceous coal-rich strata from
western Canada provide the richest and most diverse Mesozoic feather
assemblage yet reported from amber. The fossils include primitive structures
closely matching the protofeathers of nonavian dinosaurs, offering new
insights into their structure and function.
Additional derived morphologies confirm that plumage specialized for flight
and underwater diving had evolved in Late Cretaceous birds. Because amber
preserves feather structure and pigmentation in unmatched detail, these
fossils provide novel insights regarding feather evolution.
And another avian paper:
Trace Metals as Biomarkers for Eumelanin Pigment in the Fossil Record
R. A. Wogelius,1,2* P. L. Manning,1,2,3 H. E. Barden,1,2 N. P. Edwards,1,2
S. M. Webb,4 W. I. Sellers,5 K. G. Taylor,6 P. L. Larson,1,7 P. Dodson,3,8
H. You,9 L. Da-qing,10 U. Bergmann11
Well-preserved fossils of pivotal early bird and nonavian theropod species
have provided unequivocal evidence for feathers and/or downlike integuments.
Recent studies have reconstructed color on the basis of melanosome
structure; however, the chemistry of these proposed melanosomes has remained
unknown. We applied synchrotron x-ray techniques to several fossil and
extant organisms, including Confuciusornis sanctus, in order to map and
characterize possible chemical residues of melanin pigments. Results show
that trace metals, such as copper, are present in fossils as organometallic
compounds most likely derived from original eumelanin. The distribution of
these compounds provides a long-lived biomarker of melanin presence and
density within a range of fossilized organisms. Metal zoning patterns may be
preserved long after melanosome structures have been destroyed.