This is a picture of a T-Rex from Jurassic Park. It’s not a scientific rendering.
Green, brown, or purple? Scientists at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) particle accelerator in Saskatoon are hoping to find an answer to what colour dinosaurs were. After much speculation in movies and television, an infrared analysis of a rare fossilized piece of hadrosaur hide from Alberta may reveal the answer. By shining a light on the mummified skin, researchers will be able to analyze how the light bounces back, giving them information about the types of chemicals present in the hadrosaur’s skin cells, and what effect those chemicals may have had on skin colour. If the tests are successful, they will uncover left over melanosomes, a type of “pigment producing organelle” that could indicate whether hadrosaurs were similarly coloured to their modern day reptilian descendants. It is also likely that the tests will indicate what these animals ate, and why there are so few samples of fossilized skin in existence.