Surprisingly vibrant color of 12-million-year-old snail shells

Snail shells are often colorful and strikingly patterned. This is due to pigments that are produced in special cells of the snail and stored in the shell in varying concentrations. Fossil shells, on the other hand, are usually pale and inconspicuous because the pigments are very sensitive and have already decomposed. Residues of ancient color patterns are therefore very rare. This makes a new discovery all the more astonishing: researchers found pigments in twelve-million-year-old fossilized snail shells.