The urvogels again, this time in U.V.

So having covered the work of Helmut Tischlinger on here already as well as yesterday´s UV post, and Archaeopteryx, that most famous of archosaurs (with the possible exception of T.rex), three times now so it’s time to combine the two. I have written before about how I feel the best of Helmut’s work, however unintentionally, combines science and art. The image provides scientific information with aesthetic beauty. Don’t believe me? Hopefully this will shake a few neurones loose:

eichstaett-archy-uv1

Eichstaett Archaeopteryx - Image H. Tischlinger

Thermopolis Archaeoperyx - Image H. Tischlinger

Thermopolis Archaeoperyx - Image H. Tischlinger

Berlin Archaeopteryx - Image H. Tischlinger

Berlin Archaeopteryx - Image H. Tischlinger

I really don’t think I can, or need to, add much to that.

As ever, please note that these images are effectively on loan. Please do not copy, download or link to these without asking me first. I can’t watermark or protect them so I rely on goodwill to save them. These have been published before, mostly in Peter Wellnhofer’s superb book of Archaeopteryx.

8 Responses to “The urvogels again, this time in U.V.”


  1. 1 Allen Hazen 04/03/2009 at 1:03 pm

    No color contrast in feather areas. Does this indicate that the feather impressions are just that– impressions, with no organic matter preserved? Or am I misunderstanding what the U.V. light is supposed to do?
    (But all that aside– aesthetically, yes… they are beautiful.)

  2. 2 David Hone 04/03/2009 at 3:46 pm

    Allen, it rather depends on the individual fossil. My understanding is that (generally) the key element is phosphorous and that it is the phosphates that flourese when present, and obviously these are common in bones and rare in other tissues. There are hwoever various facotrs at play – the minerals present, the nature of the preservation and exactly which frequency of lights and types of filters are being used. In the Jehol stuff Helmut worked on you culd see phenomenal variation even in single specimens where one half would shine and he other not, or some ribs go ant not others depending on exactly what you did. At the moment we really do just rely on Helmut’s skills and we have to investigate the chemistry of this at some point to what is causing the various reactions. Certainly in some cases the feathers are just impressions, though personally I don’t actually know much about Archaeopteryx and its taphonomy.


  1. 1 Microraptor in UV and feather attachment « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 13/02/2010 at 8:56 am
  2. 2 Yet another UV Archaeopteryx – this time out: Daiting « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 05/03/2010 at 8:29 am
  3. 3 Archaeopteryx spectacular « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 20/12/2010 at 7:31 am
  4. 4 The Eichstaett Archaeopteryx « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 08/02/2011 at 9:56 am
  5. 5 Berlin Archaeopteryx « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 04/02/2012 at 9:52 am
  6. 6 Archaeopteryx « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 18/07/2012 at 1:08 pm
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