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Earth Science

The True Color of Ancient Sea Creatures 44

Posted by samzenpus
from the cool-colors dept.
sciencehabit writes "Looking a bit like a dolphin, but with a long slim snout filled with pointy teeth, one species of ichthyosaur was practically invisible in the murky depths of Jurassic seas, thanks to dark pigmentation that covered its entire body. That's one conclusion of a new study that provides an unprecedented peek at the coloration of sea creatures alive during or soon after the dinosaur era. The approach involves bombarding fossils with charged particles and then analyzing the particles that are knocked from the surface, which reveals remnants of ancient pigments. Dark pigmentation may have helped ichthyosaurs and other predators camouflage themselves in the murky depths while they hunted prey."
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The True Color of Ancient Sea Creatures

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  • Re:Just wow. (Score:4, Informative)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @10:08AM (#45906071)

    If you flood the oceans with enough rain that salinity rapidly changes, it will kill the entire ecosystem pretty quickly - just ask anyone who saw Finding Nemo and tried keeping a clownfish in a freshwater tank. Floods also tend to kick up sediments, throw chemicals in the water and lots of other fun stuff that will end up killing many creatures - including vital parts of the food chain.

    As for killing some animals but not others, it's a long shot but possible depending on the adaptability of the creatures. If they can find a new food source and the changes in salinity/chemicals/sediments/etc don't kill them, then they'll probably thrive. Although the dried plankton flakes theory isn't too bad either.

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