Sino-U.S. joint team reconstructs dinosaur plumage
A team of Chinese and American scientists revealed the plumage and feather color of a 120-million-year-old small theropod dinosaur in an article published in Science on Friday.
The Microraptor, a theropod dinosaur, was discovered to have had iridescent feathers, according to the research project jointly led by Dr. Meng Qingjin, director of the Beijing Museum of Natural History (BMNH), and Dr. Mark Norell, a dinosaur expert with the American Museum of Natural History.
The Microraptor fossil studied in the research project is a specimen held by the BMNH, and the results of the project have made many people rethink their notion of dinosaurs as huge, scaly, cold-blooded animals.
The study proposes that the plumage of the "four-winged" dinosaur was predominantly iridescent, and the colors of the feathers would change depending on the angle from which they were viewed.
According to the BMNH, the study was supported by the National Science Foundation of China, the Beijing Academy of Science and Technology Innovation Team Fund, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The color of the dinosaur plumage was first reconstructed by a team consisting of Chinese and American scientists, and the research results were reported in Science in 2010.