Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs

  title={Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs},
  author={Quanguo Li and Julia A. Clarke and Ke-Qin Gao and Chang-Fu Zhou and Qingjin Meng and Daliang Li and Liliana D’Alba and Matthew D Shawkey},
Inference of colour patterning in extinct dinosaurs has been based on the relationship between the morphology of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) and colour in extant bird feathers. When this relationship evolved relative to the origin of feathers and other novel integumentary structures, such as hair and filamentous body covering in extinct archosaurs, has not been evaluated. Here we sample melanosomes from the integument of 181 extant amniote taxa and 13 lizard, turtle, dinosaur… CONTINUE READING
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