Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur

Indeed, seriously, the color of the dinosaurs in the film is only speculation and imagination. So can we scientifically restore the colors of the dinosaurs?

What color are the dinosaurs? This is certainly what many people want to know, but unfortunately, the dinosaur fossils we found are all skeletons and have no exterior colors.

Picture 1 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
The color of the dinosaurs in the movie is only speculation and imagination.

To restore the color of dinosaurs, paleontologists have had headaches of thought and research for generations. They had to analyze and study many reptiles today that are closely related to the dinosaurs to find the answer.

From those studies it has been speculated that large herbivorous dinosaurs are always gray and green, while large carnivorous dinosaurs are predominantly taupe - a dark brown color between brown and green. Gray.

In 1996, paleontologists studied a dinosaur fossil from Liaoning Province, China and discovered that the dinosaur had feathers.

Picture 2 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Fossil of Chinese Dragon Bird.

More and more long-haired dinosaurs have been discovered, and paleontologists have begun to pay attention and study their color and make a completely different guess from the previous one, which has a variety of colors. sharp like today's birds.

Not long after, paleontologists found the key to restoring the dinosaur's color, the melanosome .

Picture 3 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
The layout and arrangement of different melanosomes will produce different colors.

So what is melanosome?They are specialized pigment cells , in which melanin - the skin pigment - is synthesized and stored, moving in the body, a pigment granule in melanocytes and melanocytes, the distribution of these cells is arrange to form colors.

Melanosomes are ubiquitous in today's melanocytes of bird feathers and mammals.

Because the color of the bird's feathers is determined by melanosomes, the color of dinosaurs also depends on the density of the melanosomes.

According to this idea, we just need to find a well-preserved dinosaur fur fossil, then study the melanosome to restore the dinosaur's original color.

The first dinosaur to recover color was the first long-haired dinosaur from China, the Chinese dragon bird - Sinosauropteryx.

  • Chinese dragon bird - first color picture of dinosaur
  • Scientific name: Sinizardopteryx
  • Discovery location: Liaoning, China.
  • Live chronology: Early Cretaceous
  • Classification: Dinosaur - Dinosaur lizard - Dinosaurs animal - Small dragon
  • Time to discover fossils: 1996

Picture 4 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Feathers are found in Chinese bird fossils.

Chinese dragons are not actually a bird, they are small dinosaurs. The fossil of Chinese dragon was discovered in 1996 and is the first long-haired dinosaur found by mankind.

It would be no exaggeration to say that the discovery of the Chinese Arowana is a breakthrough that has changed humanity's perception of dinosaurs in the past, instead of hard scales like today's reptiles and dinosaurs. primitives can also have outer coat.

The Chinese dragon bird is a small dinosaur with a body length of about 1 m and a body weight of about 3 kg. The feathers on the fossils show that Chinese dragon birds have fluff and soft feathers on the outside.

In early 2010, scientists from China, the United Kingdom and Ireland first discovered melanosomes on feathered fossils of Chinese birds.

After comparing with melanosomes in modern bird feathers, paleontologists have determined that the color of the Chinese dragon's dragon is brown or reddish brown, while the tail is orange and white, like a bird. Squirrel today.

A small dinosaur mostly moving on the ground, the color of the Chinese dragon's body color helps it to camouflage, avoid large predators and ambush prey. That made the Chinese Dragon Bird the first color dinosaur known to man.

Picture 5 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Resurrected images of Chinese dragons.

Picture 6 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Chinese dragons have very similar colors to today's Eurasian red squirrels.

  • Dragon bird - own a red-brown crested
  • Scientific name: Anchiornis
  • Discovery location: Liaoning, China.
  • Date of live: Late Jurassic
  • Classification: Dinosaur - Dinosaur lizard - Dinosaur paws - Avialae (group of flying dinosaurs) - Anchiornithidae
  • Time of fossil discovery: 2009

Picture 7 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Fossil specimen of the Near Dragon.

Fossils of this species were discovered in 2009. It has a body length of only 34 cm and a body weight of about 100 grams, about the size of a modern pigeon. The discovery of this perfect fossil proved that it was a feathered species and possessed a small crest on its head.

Picture 8 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Image recovered from fossil samples.

In 2010, paleontologists in China and the United States discovered melanosomes in the fossil specimen number BMNHC PH828. After comparing with the melanosome in modern bird feathers, paleontologists have shown that their face feathers are black.

The body is surrounded by brown hairs, the crest on the head is reddish-brown, the wings of the front and hind limbs are mostly black and white, the hairs of the hind legs are gray, the soles of the feet and the toes is black.

A 2015 study showed that their sex and age also possessed certain differences in coat color.

The dragon is a kind of dinosaur that lives on a tree. Its body color can blend better with the forest floor and the light-colored crested crest can be used to flirt, attract each other during mating season.

Picture 9 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
The image restores the color of the dragon's hair.

  • Microraptor - mysterious black
  • Scientific name: Microraptor
  • Discovery location: Liaoning, China.
  • Date of live: Late Jurassic
  • Classification: Dinosaur - Dinosaur lizard - Dinosaur beast - Avialae (group of flying dinosaurs) - Dinosaurs running fast
  • Time to discover fossils: 2000

Picture 10 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Microraptor fossils are preserved in the Beijing Natural Museum.

This is a small dinosaur with a body length of 0.45 to 1 m and a body weight of about 1 kg. Especially, this dinosaur possessed a strange wing structure when both anterior and false genera grew feathers and had a separate function when flying.

In 2012, Chinese and American paleontologists found melanosomes on a Microraptor fossil collected in the Beijing Natural Museum.

After restoring contrast, Microraptor was identified as black covering the whole body. Microraptor's black color is not black in general, the black fur surface has a rainbow-colored structure similar to that of a raven.

Picture 11 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur

Picture 12 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Microraptor has a rainbow-colored black fur similar to a raven.

  • Dragon mouth parrot
  • Scientific name: Psittacosaurus
  • Discovery location: East Asia
  • Date of live: Late Jurassic
  • Classification: Dinosaur - Set of Dorsum - Dinosaurs
  • Time to discover fossils: 1923

Picture 13 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
Fossils of the parrot mouth dragon.

It is a small, grass-eating dinosaur widely distributed in east and northeast Asia. In addition to China, fossils of this species are also found in Mongolia, Russia and other places in Siberia.

Different species of parrot mouths will have different body sizes depending on where they live. The Mongolian macaws are the largest, they can reach up to 2 m high and weigh about 20 kg.

In 2016, when British paleontologists studied fossils of the species, they found that the fossils also had melanosomes in soft tissue that were almost perfectly preserved.

Using a three-dimensional model, paleontologists reproduced their colors and found that their backs were dark brown, while their faces were darker, while their bellies had pigmented gradients. gradually brighter.

Picture 14 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur

Picture 15 of Find out what determines the color of a dinosaur
The distribution of the colors of the parrot's mouth is somewhat similar to wild asses.

  • We were wrong about dinosaur skin color
  • How to know the true shape of dinosaurs when they became extinct hundreds of millions of years?

Suggestions : dinosaurs, the colors of dinosaurs, dinosaur fossils, melasonomes, the truth about dinosaurs' colors, the factors determining dinosaur colors