According to a study, the pterosaurs that ruled the skies during the age of the dinosaurs were covered in colourful feathers. For a long time scientists have debated if they actually had feathers. Now it confirmed that these flying reptiles had feathers and they could actually control the coulour of those feathers on a cellular level to create multicolor plumage.
The colour patterns are determined by melanin pigments, and could have been a way for the species to communicate with each other. The study that detailed these findings was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. Researchers studied data from fossilized headcrest of Tupandacylus imperator, a ptesosaur that lived 115 million years ago in Brazil.
With closer inspection, paleontologists realized that the bottom of this huge headcrest was rimmed with two kinds of feathers. One was short, wiry ones that were more similar to hairs, as well as fluffier ones that branch like bird feathers.
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