What was blue, yellow, and fuzzy all over? The answer, according to a new study on prehistoric color, is a 47-million-year-old moth.
It’s not easy to figure out what animals looked like millions of years ago. The petrified remains of long-dead organisms do not typically preserve their original colors. But in the past few years, paleontologists have found a way around this obstacle through the phenomenon of structural color. By analyzing microscopic structures in a fossil, researchers can sometimes figure out which pigments they correspond to or which wavelengths of light they reflect. The approach has revealed the original hues of a variety of organisms, from beetles to feathered dinosaurs.
The latest creature to be cast in Technicolor is a 47-million-year-old moth.
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