Winged dinosaur had iridescent plumage

A team of palaeontologists from across the globe has reconstructed the colour and feather pattern of a winged dinosaur that lived 130 million years ago, revealing the earliest known example of iridescent plumage.

Using scanning electron microscopes to analyse well-preserved fossils of Microraptor, a pigeon-sized non-avian dinosaur, researchers were able to detect the patterns of pigment-bearing organelles called melanosomes. Analysis of the melanosomes revealed that Microraptor was completely black with an iridescent blue sheen. This suggests that the dinosaur evolved ornate feathering for social or sexual display.

Read more at American Museum of Natural History