Colour

The artist Maurice Wilson’s idea of a possible colour scheme for Archaeopteryx.

The artist Maurice Wilson’s idea of a possible colour scheme for Archaeopteryx.

What colour was it ?

The feathers of Archaeopteryx are preserved as exquisitely detailed impressions in very fine-grained limestone so there are no actual feather tissues preserved. Artists have come up with a range of possible colour schemes. Very recent work on feathers preserved in Chinese ‘dinobird’ specimens suggests that colours were predominantly black and ginger.