© 2015 Cardiff Scientific Society

Abstract


Ever since Darwin, it has become clear that birds are flying dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx has become an iconic fossil, a half-bird, half-dinosaur and exemplar of evolutionary change. New discoveries from China show that many dinosaurs had feathers and the evolution of bird characters can be followed in detail. The latest discovery, reported in February 2010, shows the colours of those dinosaurian and early bird feathers. A research team from Bristol and Beijing has discovered melanosomes, key agents of colour, buried in the ultrastructure of the feathers. This has profound implications for our understanding of the evolution of feathers and bird and dinosaur behaviour.

Reconstruction of a single Sinosauropteryx, sporting its orange and white striped tail

Image by © Jim Robins


The Colour of Fossil Birds and Dinosaurs from China     


Professor Mike Benton PhD

Department of Earth Sciences, Bristol University

23 rd March 2011


This lecture will be held in the Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre, Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum, 7.30pm.

The lecture is open to members and non-members as the Society’s contribution to Science Week..

Admission is free but booking essential: 029 2057 3148