me·​la·​no·​some | \ mə-ˈla-nə-ˌsōm How to pronounce melanosome (audio) , ˈme-lə-nə- \

Definition of melanosome

: a melanin-producing granule in a melanocyte

Examples of melanosome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The color produced by melanosomes is determined by their shape—round ones indicate a color anywhere from yellow to brown, while elongated ones are grayscale. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020 Tiny cellular structures called melanosomes vary in color depending on their shape: Black ones are sausage-like; reds are round. Popular Science, "How do we know what dinosaurs looked like?," 11 Apr. 2020 The researchers found that hummingbirds’ melanosomes are far more intricate than those of other birds. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "Hummingbirds get their wild coloring from ‘air-filled pancakes’ in their feathers," 10 Jan. 2020 The team also looked for the tiny melanosomes that could give an indication of the feathers’ former colors. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020 Keratin doesn’t fossilize well, but melanosomes often do. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Scientists Identify Blue Hues in Fossilized Bird Feathers for the First Time," 28 June 2019 Babarović wondered: Was there a distinctive melanosome shape associated with non-iridescent blues? Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "First blue feathers found on a fossilized bird," 25 June 2019 In animals, colors are determined by the shape of the melanosomes, as well as pigment. Kristin Hugo, Newsweek, "Feathered Dinosaur Shimmered Like a Rainbow, Fossil Reveals," 15 Jan. 2018 As Laura Geggel writes for Live Science, the instrument revealed melanosomes, or microscopic structures that are responsible for pigmentation in modern bird feathers. Mika Mckinnon, Smithsonian, "Newly Discovered Dino Had a Rainbow of Shiny Feathers," 16 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'melanosome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of melanosome

1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for melanosome

melano- + -some entry 3

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Time Traveler for melanosome

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The first known use of melanosome was in 1940

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Cite this Entry

“Melanosome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for melanosome


me·​la·​no·​some | \ mə-ˈlan-ə-ˌsōm, ˈmel-ə-nō- How to pronounce melanosome (audio) \

Medical Definition of melanosome

: a melanin-producing granule in a melanocyte

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