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This fossil comes from rocks in Northeastern China that are about 130 million years old.

 

Clothes maketh man?

The uniform that attracts the ladies?

 

Well the same applied to Microraptor – a pigeon-sized, four-winged dinosaur that lived about 130 million years ago. It was all just to attract the opposite sex.

The mystery of whether feathers evolved to aid flight or attract mates has been solved by researchers studying the flashy plumage of a meat-eating dino-bird.

Scientists from the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Paleontology revealed the colour and detailed feather pattern of Microraptor – a pigeon-sized, four-winged dinosaur that lived about 130 million years ago.

It’s the earliest record of iridescent feather colour and the researchers believe their finding shows that the Microraptor’s plumage was used as a way of demonstrating sexual prowess.

There’s been a lot of speculation about how the feathers of Microraptor were oriented and whether they formed airfoils for flight or whether they had to do with sexual display.

‘So while we’ve nailed down what colour this animal was, even more importantly, we’ve determined that Microraptor, like many modern birds, most likely used its ornate feathering to give visual social signals.’

 

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Photo Jason Broughan

 

Now go and check the birds in your garden! And imagine the colorful Cretaceous period. Or check parrot on the right side bar. It explains a lot.

 

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