How do we reconstruct dinosaur feather colors?

The Latest Science Techniques for Reconstructing Dinosaur Feather Colours

For scientists as well as the public, dinosaur feathers are a fascination. Recent advances in science have made it possible to reconstruct the colors of dinosaur feathers. Advanced imaging techniques, such as visible reflectance and spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy(SEM), allow researchers to identify the melanin pigments that are responsible for feather coloration and the other integumentary structure (e.g. Scales and skin in fossilized remains. (Foth and al., 2019, The likely coloration of fossilized species can be determined by comparing their fossilized remains with modern birds. One example is the Kupirinkiornis, which fossilized the remains of an ancient parrot. It was found to be rich in melanin pigment that’s very similar to what can be found in modern birds (Prum and al., 2020). Other than SEM and VRS imaging methods, such as UVF (ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence) and SEM are used to detect melanin or other pigments in fossils.

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