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Article: Recent advances in amniote palaeocolour reconstruction and a framework for future research

TitleRecent advances in amniote palaeocolour reconstruction and a framework for future research
Authors
Keywordspalaeocolour
melanin
melanosomes
exceptional preservation
amniotes
Issue Date2019
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=1464-7931
Citation
Biological Reviews, 2019, Epub How to Cite?
AbstractPreserved melanin pigments have been discovered in fossilised integumentary appendages of several amniote lineages (fishes, frogs, snakes, marine reptiles, non‐avialan dinosaurs, birds, and mammals) excavated from lagerstätten across the globe. Melanisation is a leading factor in organic integument preservation in these fossils. Melanin in extant vertebrates is typically stored in rod‐ to sphere‐shaped, lysosome‐derived, membrane‐bound vesicles called melanosomes. Black, dark brown, and grey colours are produced by eumelanin, and reddish‐brown colours are produced by phaeomelanin. Specific morphotypes and nanostructural arrangements of melanosomes and their relation to the keratin matrix in integumentary appendages create the so‐called 'structural colours'. Reconstruction of colour patterns in ancient animals has opened an exciting new avenue for studying their life, behaviour and ecology. Modern relationships between the shape, arrangement, and size of avian melanosomes, melanin chemistry, and feather colour have been applied to reconstruct the hues and colour patterns of isolated feathers and plumages of the dinosaurs Anchiornis, Sinosauropteryx, and Microraptor in seminal papers that initiated the field of palaeocolour reconstruction. Since then, further research has identified countershading camouflage patterns, and informed subsequent predictions on the ecology and behaviour of these extinct animals. However, palaeocolour reconstruction remains a nascent field, and current approaches have considerable potential for further refinement, standardisation, and expansion. This includes detailed study of non‐melanic pigments that might be preserved in fossilised integuments. A common issue among existing palaeocolour studies is the lack of contextualisation of different lines of evidence and the wide variety of techniques currently employed. To that end, this review focused on fossil amniotes: (i) produces an overarching framework that appropriately reconstructs palaeocolour by accounting for the chemical signatures of various pigments, morphology and local arrangement of pigment‐bearing vesicles, pigment concentration, macroscopic colour patterns, and taphonomy; (ii) provides background context for the evolution of colour‐producing mechanisms; and (iii) encourages future efforts in palaeocolour reconstructions particularly of less‐studied groups such as non‐dinosaur archosaurs and non‐archosaur amniotes.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/277215
ISSN
2017 Impact Factor: 11.7
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 6.469
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorRoy, A-
dc.contributor.authorPittman, M-
dc.contributor.authorSaitta, ET-
dc.contributor.authorKaye, TG-
dc.contributor.authorXu, X-
dc.date.accessioned2019-09-20T08:46:49Z-
dc.date.available2019-09-20T08:46:49Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationBiological Reviews, 2019, Epub-
dc.identifier.issn1464-7931-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/277215-
dc.description.abstractPreserved melanin pigments have been discovered in fossilised integumentary appendages of several amniote lineages (fishes, frogs, snakes, marine reptiles, non‐avialan dinosaurs, birds, and mammals) excavated from lagerstätten across the globe. Melanisation is a leading factor in organic integument preservation in these fossils. Melanin in extant vertebrates is typically stored in rod‐ to sphere‐shaped, lysosome‐derived, membrane‐bound vesicles called melanosomes. Black, dark brown, and grey colours are produced by eumelanin, and reddish‐brown colours are produced by phaeomelanin. Specific morphotypes and nanostructural arrangements of melanosomes and their relation to the keratin matrix in integumentary appendages create the so‐called 'structural colours'. Reconstruction of colour patterns in ancient animals has opened an exciting new avenue for studying their life, behaviour and ecology. Modern relationships between the shape, arrangement, and size of avian melanosomes, melanin chemistry, and feather colour have been applied to reconstruct the hues and colour patterns of isolated feathers and plumages of the dinosaurs Anchiornis, Sinosauropteryx, and Microraptor in seminal papers that initiated the field of palaeocolour reconstruction. Since then, further research has identified countershading camouflage patterns, and informed subsequent predictions on the ecology and behaviour of these extinct animals. However, palaeocolour reconstruction remains a nascent field, and current approaches have considerable potential for further refinement, standardisation, and expansion. This includes detailed study of non‐melanic pigments that might be preserved in fossilised integuments. A common issue among existing palaeocolour studies is the lack of contextualisation of different lines of evidence and the wide variety of techniques currently employed. To that end, this review focused on fossil amniotes: (i) produces an overarching framework that appropriately reconstructs palaeocolour by accounting for the chemical signatures of various pigments, morphology and local arrangement of pigment‐bearing vesicles, pigment concentration, macroscopic colour patterns, and taphonomy; (ii) provides background context for the evolution of colour‐producing mechanisms; and (iii) encourages future efforts in palaeocolour reconstructions particularly of less‐studied groups such as non‐dinosaur archosaurs and non‐archosaur amniotes.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=1464-7931-
dc.relation.ispartofBiological Reviews-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subjectpalaeocolour-
dc.subjectmelanin-
dc.subjectmelanosomes-
dc.subjectexceptional preservation-
dc.subjectamniotes-
dc.titleRecent advances in amniote palaeocolour reconstruction and a framework for future research-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailPittman, M: mpittman@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityPittman, M=rp01622-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/brv.12552-
dc.identifier.hkuros305941-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000487471400001-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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