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The Most Realistic Reconstruction Of A Dinosaur!!

A Cretaceous dinosaur fossil so well preserved we can determine its skin coloring has led to the most realistic reconstruction yet of one of these extinct beasts. 

It has also given us insight into the environment in which this particular species lived. When he was a graduate student, Dr Jakob Vinther, now of the University of Bristol, realized that structures on the skins of exceptionally preserved fossils once carried melanin pigments. 

Earlier this year this idea was used to reconstruct the colors of a 10-million-year-old snake. The Psittacosaurus's skin contains more melanosomes, which indicates a darker color, on top than below. 

This is a common pattern in animals today – think orcas or penguins when horizontal – for the camouflage it provides. The combination works because sunlight comes from above, making evenly colored objects brighter on top. By reversing this, animals confuse the eyes of predators or prey.
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