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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 05:16 PM
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Dinosaur-era feathers sealed in amber
Pigment and fine details preserved in a new collection By Susan Milius Web edition : 11:15 am

ANCIENT FEATHERSA cluster of small barbs (shown), which once branched off a main feather upright, show remains of pigment but not interlocking hooks. The barbs might have come from the ends of the outermost layer of body feathers. Science/AAAS


Bits of filaments and feathers trapped in amber 79 million years ago offer an unusually wide-ranging view of what late dinosaurs and early birds were wearing.

The 11 small, amber-bound specimens found in Canada span an evolutionary range of late Cretaceous fashion, from what appear to be unbranched filaments which have been proposed as the first stage of dinosaur feather evolution to bits of sophsticated, corkscrewy barbs like the wettable feathers on modern diving birds, a team from the University of Alberta reports in the Sept. 16 Science.

Such a range has shown up squashed in rock fossils, but were seeing the same thing preserved in beautiful 3-D forms, says coauthor Ryan McKellar. Its preserved down to the point of having pigment, which opens up the doorway for all sorts of weird and wonderful investigations.

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http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/334380/descr...
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 05:23 PM
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1. How exciting!
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 05:56 PM
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2. Recommend
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Ready4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 06:53 PM
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3. Cool!
Some pigment too! That is just shivery with nifty.
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