Fossil moth reveals colorful hue | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


News

Fossil moth reveals colorful hue

Paleontologists deduce how ridges on the creature’s wings reflected light

By
2:16pm, October 11, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — Ancient moths have for the first time shown their true colors to modern humans.

By piecing together clues from a fossil unearthed in a former German quarry, a team of scientists has figured out how light bounced off a moth that lived 47 million years ago. Today, the insect’s remains are bluish. But before time alchemized its wings, the creature was mostly yellow-green, with only a fringe of blue.

“The original colors aren’t preserved, but they can be reconstructed,” said Yale paleontologist Maria McNamara, who presented the new findings October 9 at the Geological Society of America annual meeting.

Like beetles and dragonflies

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content