Scientists Reconstruct Feathered Dinosaurs in the Flesh with High Power Lasers
Scientists have created what might be the most realistic depiction of a dinosaur ever, and it may also reveal new insights into the origin of birds.
The research was led by Michael Pittman from the University of Hong Kong, and published in Nature Communications. Pittman and his team used laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) to detect soft tissue around the fossilized bones of a dinosaur called Anchiornis, which lived 160 million years ago.
High-powered lasers were shined on the bones in a dark room, and depending on which wavelengths bounced off, the researchers could work out what sort of tissue once surrounded the bones but is now invisible.
The research found that this foot-high dinosaur had drumstick-shaped legs, long forearms, a slender tail, four wings, and scaly footpads like a chicken. Previous research showed it had a black and gray body with white highlights and a red crest.