Seen under a microscope, the feathers suggest the creature was chestnut brown and white.
“It really underlines the importance of amber as an anchor for future study. We’re picking up features we couldn’t see in compressed sedimentary fossils, ” said McKellar.
Previous studies on dinosaur coloring have had to rely on the difficult task of capturing information from melansomes — tiny structures buried within feathers that give them color — and comparing them with bird feathers.
In the “Jurassic Park” movie franchise, scientists extract dinosaur DNA from blood found inside insects preserved in amber.
McKellar said that soft tissue and decayed blood from the tail were found in the amber but no genetic material was preserved.
“Unfortunately, the Jurassic Park answer is still a ‘no’ — this is firmly in the realm of science fiction,” he said.