Maria McNamara on Seeing the Ancient World in Color
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Description
Popular reconstructions of ancient environments, whether they be in natural history museum dioramas, in movies, or in books, present a world of color. But are those colors just fanciful renderings, perhaps based on the colors we see around us today?  Or is there evidence in the fossil record that we can use to determine the actual color of plants and animals that lived in the geological past? Maria McNamara tries to answer these questions by studying the fossil preservation of soft tissues, such as skin, muscle, and internal organs. She does this by analyzing fossils that come from sedimentary deposits that contain extraordinarily well-preserved fossils. She also does lab experiments to investigate the processes of soft tissue degradation and preservation. She is Professor of Paleontology at University College Cork in Ireland. For illustrations supporting this podcast, go to geologybites.com.  
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