Thursday, 29 September 2011

Beetle Fossil Colors (Wired Science)

Leaf Beetle, Messel
Leaf beetle, Messel fossil pits, Germany.  Estimated age 47 million years.

See these astonishing photos.  The color is generated by interaction with nanometer-scale surface geometry, not by bouncing light off pigment chemicals which would not have survived.  The fossils formed in fine sediments that captured and preserved the light-altering surface textures.  Prehistoric Colors Preserved in Near-Perfect Beetle Fossils
Leaf Beetle, Eckfeld
Leaf beetle, Eckfeld, Germany.  Approximate age 40 million years.

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