Psittacosaurus






Dinosaurs had camouflage colours, according articles in Science (AAAS) News 14 September 2016, BBC News and ScienceDaily 16 September 2016 and Current Biology doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.065, published online 15 September 2016.

Researchers from the University of Bristol, UK, along with colleagues from Hong Kong, USA and Germany, have studied the distribution of pigment in an “exquisitely preserved” fossil of a Cretaceous dinosaur named Psittacosaurus. This is a fairly small dinosaur with a beaked mouth and cone shaped structures, called jugal bosses, projecting sideways on either side of its face.

The researchers found the pigment distribution would have made it dark on its back and head, but light on its underside. This pattern of dark and light shading is called countershading, and is considered to be useful for camouflage as the dark back counteracts illumination by light coming from above.

With the help of an artist they constructed a model of the dinosaur, including the pattern of pigment in the skin, which they then studied in various locations in the Bristol botanical gardens. They also constructed a uniformly grey model which they also placed in various light conditions and studied the pattern of shadows falling on it. They concluded the dinosaur had a pigment pattern that would have provided good camouflage in forest conditions.

According to Jakob Vinther, who led the study. “These colour patterns are a testament to an arms race [between predator and prey] that took place 120 million years ago”. However, the researchers suggested the head pigmentation was also involved in signalling, especially as the face and jugal bosses were heavily pigmented and the jugal bosses seem to be made of softer material than normally forms hard horns.

BBC, Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: If any so called evolutionary “arms race” did take place, such a conflict could only be survived by creatures that already had camouflage colouring. Animals without it would be eliminated in the process of natural selection, because selection can only work on what already exists. It does not and cannot make any new characteristics. The pigmentation pattern may explain why creatures survive in a struggle for existence, but that does not explain how they got the patterns in the first place. The theory also assumes any pigmentation occurring before the “arms race” took place had no other function.

Now let’s take off your blind faith evolutionist glasses, and consider these dinosaurs in the light of Biblical history. In the beginning the world was very good, with no predators. As suggested by these researchers, the pigmentation of this dinosaur would have been for communication, i.e. species identification and attracting mates. The melanin on its back would also provide protection from any ultra-violet rays, just like melanin in our skin.

After the world degenerated and became filled with violence, animals that already had pigmentation patterns would have benefitted from any camouflage protection this provided. This protection would have been enhanced after Noah’s flood, when the environment was devastated and predators became common due to a lack of plant foods. In other words, the fact that animals have pigmentation patterns that can serve as camouflage is evidence of a degenerate world, not an evolving one. It simply can never explain where the pigment patterns came from in the first place. That is better explained by a creative designer who made living things to communicate with one another, and also to look attractive, and any post-fall and post-flood benefit is a plus.

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 23
6 December 2016
Creation Research Australia

Were you helped by this item? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep adding more answers. For USA tax deductible donations click here. For UK tax deductible donations click here. For Australia and rest of world click here.