Nerve: Bird and Feathers Essay

Submitted By nerveimpulse3
Words: 494
Pages: 2

Extra Credit Exam 3
April 2, 2012
True-color Dinosaur Revealed: First Full-Body Rendering This article goes into details about the new discovery of color pigmentation in the Anchiornis. Richard Prum received funding for this research from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society. The chicken sized dinosaurs color patterns were discovered after researchers used a scanning electron microscope. Pigment samples were taken from fossil feathers all over a specimen and then compared the samples to pigment from modern birds. Paleontologist Li Quanguo and Jacobo Vinter a graduate student, found a complicated pattern of reddish blown, black, grey, and white feathers covering a fossil dinosaur which lead to the speculation that maybe their coloration was used for attracting mates or a form of visual communication. According to Prum “a more likely function” other than flight “for both the crown and limb feathers of Anchiornis is communication or signaling” this could include sexual display or the animal’s territory. As researchers determine an animal’s feather colors they analyze the shape and density of melanosomes within the fossil feathers. There are three types including; Eumelanosomes, phaeomelanosomes and a lack of melanosomes. Discovering the coloration of dinosaurs took some time, but as we discover these findings it reveals something new each time. This allows us to learn more and more about this complex world we live in. I really liked this article because of the new discovery of color pigmentation in dinosaurs. There is so much to learn just from a birds feathers or any animal from that matter. In class we discussed the feathers on a bird. Their feathers help with not only flight, but communication and sexual intercourse as well. The colors on an animal can be interpreted using three types of melanosomes which I