- The Loom
Old Colors: First Birds, Then Dinosaurs?
Quick shake of the head, rub of the eyes, and back to some science.
In today’s New York Times, please check out my article about the quest for fossilized color. Birds without color would be like Van Goghs without the paint, and yet for 150 year paleontologists have had to resign themselves to drab fossils of birds, offering little idea of what the birds actually looked like. That’s now changed. It turns out that the microscopic bags of pigment that give feathers color (not to mention squid ink color too) are incredibly tough. Scientists have found them in fossilized feathers, and they’ve pretty conclusively demonstrated that these things are not feather-feeding bacteria, despite a superficial similarity. What’s