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DYE-NOSAURS.. Prehistoric study's colourful findings.


BY AILBHE DALY THE colours of dinosaurs may be different than first thought, Irish research has claimed.

It revealed new sources of pigment that may affect how experts reconstruct the colour of prehistoric creatures from fossils.

The evidence, led by University College Cork, showed organ tissues can contribute to the colour of the beasts that have been extinct for 65 million years.

Melanasomes, which store the organelles for colour, were previously collected from just the skin but the new research shows the pigmentation cells may be stored elsewhere too. UCC's Dr Maria McNamara said: "It's absolutely critical we understand the origins of melanosomes in fossils if we want to produce accurate reconstructions of the colours of ancient animals."

The team studied internal tissues in modern frogs with powerful microscopes and chemical techniques to show there's no shortage of internal melanosomes.

Prof Mike Benton added: "This means internal melanosomes could make up the majority of the melanosomes preserved in some fossils." UCD's Dr Patrick Orr, who also worked on the research, said sometimes the melanosomes can leak into other body parts during fossilisation, "like snowflakes inside a snow globe".

He added: "The size and shape of skin melanosomes is usually distinct from internal organ ones.

"This allows us to produce accurate reconstructions of the original colours of ancient vertebrates." IRISH MIRROR COMMENT: PAGE 10


BRIGHT IDEA Tyrannosaurus Rex in the pink..

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 23, 2018
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