Countershading in the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota, China

Colour patterns in the Early Cretaceous theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx are reconstructed to better understand how it may have behaved and to determine what environment it may have lived in. Distinct colour patterns known to be associated with camouflage in modern animals are present including countershading, a striped tail and a ‘bandit’ mask across the face. These suggest that not only was Sinosauropteryx likely part of a complex predator-prey dynamic, but it was also better adapted to live in open environments with lots of light. Palaeocolour can inform not only behaviour, but also extinct habitat preferences. The work was published in Current Biology.

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