The rainbow dino duck
A duck-sized dinosaur that had the basic shape of a bird and the snout of a raptor likely lit up the forests of the Mesozoic era with its flashy displays. Named as Caihong juji, or ‘rainbow with the big crest’, the recently discovered ancient animal’s fossilised remains were found with brilliantly preserved feathers that had retained fragments of pigment sacs known as melanosomes. The shape and orientation of these sacs is most similar to those of iridescent hummingbird feathers, meaning that Caihong juji likely had a plumage that vibrantly shone in the colours of the rainbow. We can only speculate as to its purpose, but hummingbirds and peacocks employ vibrant, colourful displays when courting a mate, so it may be that this dinosaur found love the same way.
Modern reptiles such as the Komodo dragon inspired us to think that all dinosaurs were scaled, not feathered