Finally: We Know a Dinosaur’s Colors (White and “Ginger.”)

Recommended Videos

The Sinosauropteryx — a small, two-legged dinosaur covered with whiskerlike fuzz that may have predated feathers — has had its real-life colors discovered, thanks to the recently-published work of some paleontologists.

Using micrographic analysis, they discovered melanosomes — organelles that contain melanin, the same pigment found in human skin — “in the feathers and filament-like structures of fossil birds and dinosaurs from northeastern China.” Their conclusion? The Sinosauropteryx had a ginger-colored body and white stripes along its tail.

National Geographic:

In a report released online today by the journal Nature, an international team of paleontologists and experts in scanning electron micrography infer that this dinosaur had reddish orange feathers running along its back and a striped tail.

Whereas artists have painted dinosaurs based on reasonable estimates of their appearance for some time now, this represents the first time a dinosaur’s colors have been conclusively known. ABC News describes the Sinosauropteryx’s color as “carrot” (gross!), but British outlets have used the charming word “ginger” to describe its color, so we’re sticking with that.

(via National Geographic)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article What Caused the Weekend’s Major Aurora Borealis Phenomenon?
Aurora Borealis over a farmhouse.
Read Article Entomologist Brought to Tears in Response to Her Positive Book Reviews
Dr. Megan Wilkerson book: A to Z Bug Facts Coloring Book: Explore 28 Insects With 60+ Unique Facts
Read Article Important Science Alert! NASA Just Sent a Cat Video From Space!
An orange cat chases a laser on a couch with technical graphics superimposed on the image.
Read Article Scientists Make Major Breakthrough in Treating Morning Sickness
A young pregnant woman of African decent sits on a sofa in the comfort of her own home as she cradles her belly with her hands. She is dressed casually as she looks down at her belly with anticipation.
Read Article Guess What? We’re Bringing the Dodo Back!
The dodo from the animated Alice in Wonderland, smoking a pipe.
Related Content
Read Article What Caused the Weekend’s Major Aurora Borealis Phenomenon?
Aurora Borealis over a farmhouse.
Read Article Entomologist Brought to Tears in Response to Her Positive Book Reviews
Dr. Megan Wilkerson book: A to Z Bug Facts Coloring Book: Explore 28 Insects With 60+ Unique Facts
Read Article Important Science Alert! NASA Just Sent a Cat Video From Space!
An orange cat chases a laser on a couch with technical graphics superimposed on the image.
Read Article Scientists Make Major Breakthrough in Treating Morning Sickness
A young pregnant woman of African decent sits on a sofa in the comfort of her own home as she cradles her belly with her hands. She is dressed casually as she looks down at her belly with anticipation.
Read Article Guess What? We’re Bringing the Dodo Back!
The dodo from the animated Alice in Wonderland, smoking a pipe.