Micro-post: microraptor (and a 30,000 year old flower for good measure)

This has nothing to do even tangentially with plants, but you guys should totally check out this article in Science about the 4-winged dinosaur microraptor (if you have trouble with the first link, try this NY Times article instead).  Fossil microscopy and modelling has gotten so good that palentologists can not only tell that many dinosaurs were feathered, but also what color the feathers probably were.

The 4-winged microraptor. From Li et al., Figure 1.

Also, 4 wings=awesome.  Not as awesome as the 4 wings+2 legs I first thought it had (crazy homeotic mutation for vertebrates!), but still awesome.

Oh, but wait!  On the subject of ancient organisms, you should also check these plants that botanists were just able to sprout from fruit tissue around seeds buried by ground squirrels 30,000 years ago.

Silene stenophylla, a live look into the evolutionary past of this species, which now has tri-lobed petals. Photo from Yashina et al., PNAS.

I just can’t wait until we finish cloning woolly mammoths

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One thought on “Micro-post: microraptor (and a 30,000 year old flower for good measure)

  1. Pingback: How to Build a Giant | A bouquet from Mendel

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