True-Color Dinosaur Revealed: First Full-Body Rendering
Taking a pigment discovery further, scientists accurately color entire body, study says.
That may sound familiar, given last week's announcement of the first scientifically verified dinosaur color scheme.
But the previous research, published in Nature, had found pigments only on a few isolated parts of dinosaurs (see pictures)—and had used less rigorous methods for assigning colors to the fossilized, filament-like "protofeathers" found on some dinosaur specimens, say authors of the new report.
Both studies raise hopes that improved knowledge of dinosaur coloration could lead to insights into how some prehistoric animals behaved and why feathers evolved in the first place.
The subject of the new study—the 155-million-year-old Anchiornis huxleyi—turns out to have looked something like a woodpecker the size of a chicken, with black-and-white spangled wings and a rusty