So they found this adorable little dinosaur called Anchiornis

See those feathers? The skeleton they found was so well-preserved that scientists were able to examine the pigment cells in the feathers and compare them to those of modern day birds.

And they were able to do this with such accuracy that they know the coloration of this dinosaur. In life it looked something like this.

It just baffles me that we know the color patterns of an animal that has been dead for 161 million years


American Museum of Natural History, Part 12: The Birds are Dinosaurs Exhibit, part 9: Expand Birb

In order, these are photos of: Archaeopteryx, Archaeopteryx, Anchiornis, Anchiornis, Archaeopteryx, Sinornithosaurus, Anchiornis, Anchiornis, Sinornithosaurus, Archaeopteryx

I grouped all these together because they do go together - this was a part of the general section on flight and the evolution of feathers. You can see in some of the Anchiornis models that they’re demonstrating Wing Assisted Inclined Running. I couldn’t get close up enough to the Sinornithosaurus to get good pictures, alas. 


My second set for the Aywas Black Friday sale! They’re based on the known colors of various dinosaurs: Archaeopteryx, Microraptor, Anchiornis, Sinosauropteryx (and of course a skeleton one I made up). 
I am currently open for offers on the unique from this set! Message me here or on Aywas with offers. If nothing strikes my fancy, I will continue with a regular auction after Black Friday. 

duckatrice  asked:

Top five dinosaurs/"dinosaurs" of prehistory?

Before it was birds, it was dinosaurs. I mean that works for the evolutionary explanation, but it’s also a description of my special interest. Growing up in Montana had its perks for a tiny dino nerd.

Names lead to links for the image sources. Disclaimer: I’m not up to the minute on dinosaur data and I may refer to something wrong, or link a speculative restoration that has since been refuted. Not intending to be getting anything wrong here!

1. Troodon. Yes, I read that dinosaur book as a kid. But listen, I love this tiny weird maniraptorian. I especially love the speculation that it may have had owl-like features, based on its forward-set eyes and asymmetrical ears.

2. Carcharadontosaurus. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis introduced me to this one and made me fond of it. And honestly the name does a lot here. It’s really cool to be named for having sharklike teeth.

3. Mamenchisaurus. Why is your neck so long. That seems egregious. 

4. Torosaurus. This was initially out of spite, as a small child being told “you can’t have triceratops as your favorite, that’s MY favorite!” so I picked a dinosaur that was like it, but bigger. Yeah, I did hear the research that suggests that triceratops was a subadult torosaurus, but there’s still some questions about that, as far as I know.

5. Anchiornis. The fact that we know what colors and markings this dinosaur had is really supremely cool to me. Not to mention the fact that it’s a tiny featherfluff of a dinosaur. Crow-sized. I have my biases there.

The Signs as Dinosaurs

Aries: Utahraptor
Their most formidable weapon is the huge curved claws on the backs of their feet. Related to the Velociraptor.

Taurus: Triceratops
Characterized by the three horns that protrude from their face. May have had sparring contests by locking horns and pushing with the head shield.

Gemini: Velociraptor
They often hunt in packs. The literal meaning of it’s name is “swift thief,” and was known to be very intellilgent.

Cancer: Ankylolsaurus
Their skin is covered in armor that consists of several hundred oval-shaped bony plates. A heavy bony growth on the end of it’s tail was most likely used for defense.

Leo: Saltasaurus
Found to have armor plating that was possibly even spiked. Female Saltasaurs buried their eggs in sand in vegetation. Usually travel in packs.

Virgo: Parasaurolophus
A unique notch appears in this herbivore’s backbone. The use of this is believed to be that while running through dense forest, they could use it to push away low hanging branches.

Libra: Microraptor
A very small dinosaur with many feathers along it’s body. It’s not clear how these feathers were used, but when in flight it would’ve used all 4 of it’s wings.

Scorpio:Tyrannosaurus Rex
Thought to be the largest active land predator. Some argue however that it was not a fearsome predator, but a slow- moving scavenger that fed on carcasses killed by other dinosaurs.

Sagittarius: Alamosaurus
So large that no complete adult specimen exists. Their teeth are quite slender, probably for snipping tree tops at the ease of their long necks.

Capricorn: Pentaceratops
Smaller than the Triceratops although had a larger neck frill. As a result, they have the largest skull known of any land vertebrate.

Aquarius: Anchiornis
Covered in feathers and had small slender legs meant for fast running. Its suggested that this dinosaur was probably adept at gliding and possibly flying.

Pisces: Stegosaurus
Had bony plates on it’s back, arranged in a zigzag pattern. There is a uniquely large canal in the spinal cord that many speculate may have been space for a second brain.