Recent fossil record reveals that the penguins were not always so formal in their Downproof. Rather, some of the penguins at the end of the Eocene probably covered with red, brown and gray of the classic black and white, according to a new report. In addition to paint a better picture of ancient aquatic birds, the analysis of ancient pigments particles may offer clues to the evolution of a feather-and-animals.
The newly described species of feathered dinosaurs fossils were found, Inkayacu paracasensis, or about 36 million years ago in what is now Peru. Extinct bird was about two times higher than the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), which measures about 1.5 meters tall and weighs between 54.6 and 59.7 pounds, according to a new study, published online Sept. 30 in Science.
Apart from the mass of birds (it was noted that one of the largest known species of ancient penguin), which is colored feathers nanosized also a different size, shape and distribution as the feathers of the penguins of the times modern. These structures that contain melanin are known as melanosomes and have found fossils of dinosaurs 100 million years. After studies of melanosomes in six samples paracasensis I., the researchers noted that the particles were older and more densely packed than those found in existing species, an observation that provides clues about the color and physical characteristics.
"Before this fossil, we had no evidence of feathers [or] ... the colors of ancient penguins," Julia Clarke, a paleontologist at the University of Texas, and co-author of the report, said a prepared statement.
Some modern-day penguins are brown and gray interior, such as children, but researchers are convinced that I paracasensis the individual not only a phase. "Features the bones tell us that this particular fossil was a full grown adult, not young, so finding brown and shades of gray was a surprise," Dan Ksepka, assistant professor of sea, earth and atmospheric sciences from North Carolina State University and coauthor of the report, said a prepared statement.
But the color change could not have been just for show. A penguin's feathers have to be strong, because they face powerful forces of aquatic animal dives. "Melanin confers resistance to fracture, major materials such as feathers," say the authors. Therefore a change from brown to black could be functional at the nanoscale that the size of the body or the environment has changed.
"Looking at how these fossilized feathers differ from living penguins, we may be able to know why species like Inkayacu became extinct," said Ksepka.
Another researcher involved in the work was mainly excited dye in this ancient animal "Most of all, I think it's just cool to have a look at the color of a gem off," University of Yale said Jakob Vinther in a prepared statement.
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