Dinosaur Camo

SCIENCE

A beautifully colored dinosaur fossil is the first to show evidence of camouflage. (Nat Geo News)

What is camouflage? Use our resources to find out.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

We love this graphical abstract; it’s basically a cheat sheet for the really readable article here. “3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur.” Vinther, Jakob et al. Current Biology, volume 26, issue 18. CC-BY-4.0

We love this graphical abstract; it’s basically a cheat sheet for the really readable article here.
3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur.” Vinther, Jakob et al. Current Biology, volume 26, issue 18. CC-BY-4.0

Discussion Ideas

 

 

“3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur.” Vinther, Jakob et al. Current Biology, volume 26, issue 18. CC-BY-4.0

3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur.” Vinther, Jakob et al. Current Biology, volume 26, issue 18. CC-BY-4.0

 

  • How does countershading help camouflage a prey species such as Psittacosaurus?

 

 

“3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur.” Vinther, Jakob et al. Current Biology, volume 26, issue 18. CC-BY-4.0

3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur.” Vinther, Jakob et al. Current Biology, volume 26, issue 18. CC-BY-4.0

  • How did countershading camouflage help paleontologists determine Psittacosaurus’ habitat?
    • To learn more about the dinosaur’s environs, the researchers built a life-size model of the Psittacosaurus and painted it a dull gray, providing a neutral background for assessing shadows on the body. At a nearby botanic garden, the model was photographed on both clear and cloudy days, out in the open and under cover of vegetation. The images show that the Psittacosaurus’s coloring provided the best camouflage in diffuse light [a “closed habitat”], not full sun [an “open habitat”]. So the reptile probably lived in the forest rather than on the savanna, the researchers conclude.”

 

  • Cryptic coloration in Psittacosaurus is a new discovery. Is Psittacosaurus itself a newly discovered species of dinosaur?
    • No! In fact, Psittacosaurus is one of the most well-known species of dinosaur in the world. Fossils from hundreds of individuals have been collected, identified, and studied. The species is so well-known that an entire time period is named after it—the Psittacosaurus biochron.

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: This Dinosaur Wore Camouflage

Cell Press: Dinosaur Camouflage/ Curr. Biol., Sep. 15, 2016 (Vol. 26, Issue 18) video

Nat Geo: What is camouflage?

Wikipedia: Psittacosaurus featured article

(extra credit!) Current Biology: 3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s