The discovery, which the researchers reported last week in Nature, supports research showing that birds are dinosaurs, having descended from a group of bipedal dinosaurs called theropods.
Dr. Prum and his colleagues, meanwhile, had set out on a similar quest. Working with paleontologists at the Beijing Museum of Natural History and Peking University, the researchers began to study a 150-million-year-old species called Anchiornis huxleyi. The chicken-sized theropod was festooned with long feathers on its arms and legs.
Scientsts were able to assign color to individual feathers and thus work out color patterns for the entire fossil of Anchiornis huxleyi, a small, feathered, two-legged dinosaur that lived roughly 150 million years ago. The animal would have weighed about four ounces (110 grams) and appears to have had a dark gray or black body and wings with some white feathers that gave it a stripe pattern, plus a reddish-brown crest and speckles on the face. ( Source: New York Times and Discovery News)