Primitive feathers found in fossilized amber from Late Cretaceous

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by AquaEyes, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did anyone catch this article?

    "A Diverse Assemblage of Late Cretaceous Dinosaur and Bird Feathers from Canadian Amber"
    Science 16 September 2011:
    Vol. 333 no. 6049 pp. 1619-1622
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1203344

    There are pictures, and even some of the color of the feathers can be made out. If the link doesn't work, I have the pdf file downloaded, and I can email it to you.

    In the same issue, there is an article about trying to figure out color of feathers by measuring traces of metalic organic compounds that are found in fossilized feathers, and comparing them to the metalic organic compounds found in pigments.

    I wonder if any of them show a Mille Fleur pattern. [​IMG]

    ETA -- I found other articles referring to the original in case the original doesn't work (I pulled it up through my university online library). It's so cool -- these feathers are so old, but within the amber, they look like they molted out recently.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/life/arc...in-amber-reinforce-evolution-theories/245094/

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/16/science/la-sci-dinosaur-feathers-20110917

    http://www.radiomichiana.com/wnsn/news/national/la-sci-dinosaur-feathers-20110917,0,7549437.story

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/dinosaur-feathers-amber/?pid=2125

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14933298

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/643107-dinosaur-feather-evolution-trapped-in-canadian-amber
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  2. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I can't get into the first link in your ETA, says "You are attempting to access a resource available to current UB students, faculty, staff only."

    Anyway, I find all of this interesting and fascinating!
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I don't have time to read through the articles in depth right now, but I definitely will. This is an amazing discovery. I wonder if they will be able to recover any DNA from the feathers. That would be amazing to be able to examine the actual DNA code and compare it to modern animals. We could learn so very much.
     
  4. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Sorry...well, I posted some articles that referred to the original and give a summary of what was found and why it is important, and I have the original downloaded if you want me to send it. It's not long.

    :)
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I read article and another a while back suggesting barring patterns of black and white or brown and white on some examples and at least one was likened to a woodpecker with red patch on head. Color on those inferred form microstructure rather than chemical / elemental composition.
     
  6. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That was one of the articles I added when I realized that the original wasn't readable without my log-in. See the bottom of the original post. Or, if you want, I can email the pdf to you. PM me your email address if you're interested (any anyone else who is as well).

    [​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I follow such stuff closely though my university as well. Bird evolution is of high interest to me.
     
  8. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    We actually have found a few color patterns in dinosaurs -




    The showy Anchiornis.

    [​IMG]

    The lemur/raccoon tailed Sinosauropteryx.

    [​IMG]




    Colors aren't exact, scientists only have a figure of concepts like light vs dark, black/dark brown/dark red vs red/orange/yellow and white.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I still can not figure how the four winged dudes of first image could run with all those feather on legs. They must have been similar to flying squirrels.
     
  10. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    AWESOME!!!

    What was important about this find was that it was the first fossil evidence of intermediate stages of feather evolution that confirmed the proposed model of the process, based on genetic and structural differences between scales and feathers. The scientists predicted the steps along the way, and this new find is further evidence that that's how it happened.

    [​IMG]
     

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