Following on from Shirley’s post about how the great thinkers of our time have decided that the universe is actually middle-aged and as such is dressing accordingly in Beige. It seems that what could possibly be the second oldest colour related question has now been answered. A study in the journal Science has given us the first scientifically verified dinosaur colour scheme. There have been other studies that used less vigorous methods to try to determine what the dinosaurs were actually coloured using a few pigments from isolated areas of some dinosaurs etc.
“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 red crown .The color patterns on Anchiornis’s limbs are “quite similar to the silver-spangled Hamburg chicken, a domestic breed of ornamental chicken,” said ornithologist Richard Prum of Yale University. Prum is a co-author of the new study and has received funding from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society ” as quoted by National Geographic Magazine on their website.
This idea that Dinosaurs could actually in this case put a whole new angle on films such as Journey to the centre of the earth and Jurassic Park. Would we really feel as menaced and scare if the prehistoric animal hunting us down was a giant ornamental chicken with a rusty red crown ?. The psychology of colour is interesting they have always had dinosaurs as large menacing grey or dark green animals with scaly skin etc and this naturally gets our nerves rattling and increases the threat of danger. If scientists answer all the questions on the colour of dinosaurs and we find that Godzilla, cartoon style dinosaur I know, is actually bright yellow with pink markings will a whole industry and myth be destroyed. While I am all for science and gaining the answers to some of the great questions that make up life on this crazy planet of ours, somethings should just be left alone.
Hope you are having a good week, the first frost of the autumn / winter hit last night, -5c all very pretty but very very cold – Ian