Fossil evidence for evolution of the shape and color of penguin feathers

Julia A. Clarke, Daniel T. Ksepka, Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, Ali J. Altamirano, Matthew D. Shawkey, Liliana D'Alba, Jakob Vinther, Thomas J. DeVries, Patrice Baby

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

151 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

Penguin feathers are highly modified in form and function, but there have been no fossils to inform their evolution. A giant penguin with feathers was recovered from the late Eocene (∼36 million years ago) of Peru. The fossil reveals that key feathering features, including undifferentiated primary wing feathers and broad body contour feather shafts, evolved early in the penguin lineage. Analyses of fossilized color-imparting melanosomes reveal that their dimensions were similar to those of non-penguin avian taxa and that the feathering may have been predominantly gray and reddish-brown. In contrast, the dark black-brown color of extant penguin feathers is generated by large, ellipsoidal melanosomes previously unknown for birds. The nanostructure of penguin feathers was thus modified after earlier macrostructural modifications of feather shape linked to aquatic flight.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)954-957
Número de páginas4
PublicaciónScience
Volumen330
N.º6006
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 12 nov. 2010
Publicado de forma externa

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