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Scientists determine color of dinosaur for the first time - PHOTO

29 January 2010 [16:53] - TODAY.AZ
An artist's rendering shows two Sinosauropteryx, sporting their orange and white striped tails.
An artist's rendering shows two Sinosauropteryx, sporting their orange and white striped tails. The fossil of a small flesh-eating Sinosauropteryx dinosaur. Short, bristle-like feathers ran along the midline of the head, neck, back, and around the tail.

Bet you thought dinosaurs only came in green. Get over it. Some were red-heads.

The fossil of a small flesh-eating Sinosauropteryx dinosaur. Short, bristle-like feathers ran along the midline of the head, neck, back, and around the tail.

The Sinosauropteryx is the first fossil from which scientists have been able to identify the color of a dinosaur.

The dog-sized meat eater was found to be covered with “russet and orange” feathers, according to the London Daily Mail.

Using electron microscopes, a team of British, Irish and Chinese scientist studied the fossilized feathers from a Sinosauropteryx discovered in northern China. The prehistoric creature roamed the earth 125 million years ago.

The animal had alternating ginger and white rings down its tail according to their study published in Nature magazine.

“We can say for sure that this rather primitive flesh eating dinosaur has bristles that are feathers,” professor Mike Benton, who led the study at the University of Bristol, told the Daily Mail. “And we can say that the dark band on the end of the tail is russet or ginger.”

Their discovery also shed light on that eternal question that only scientists thought to ask.

Which came first, the feather or the wing?

“We now know that feathers came before wings,” Benton told the Mail, “so feathers did not originate as flight structures.”


/NY Daily News/

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