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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's Dinosaur News

Posted by on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 2:11 PM

No, say all the articles on this topic, we can't build a dinosaur from dino-DNA extracted from a mosquito trapped in amber. In fact, we can't build a true dinosaur at all. But paleontologist Jack Horner has been working on a project that's still pretty awesome:

But even though we didn't find DNA in an extinct dinosaur, I decided to see if we could retro-engineer a living dinosaur — all birds are living dinosaurs — and make it look like an extinct dinosaur.

That quote is from his recent TED talk, which can be viewed here along with a transcript. You can read more about the Chickensaurus project here and here and here.

After the jump: tinosaurs and disappointment.

This has nothing to do with todays news, but click the image and imagine your disappointment after sending off your money and box-tops.
  • This has nothing to do with today's news, but click the image and imagine your disappointment after sending off your money and box-tops.
In other news: a new tinosaur!!! From

The fossil, a tiny neck bone found in the southern U.K., is a mere quarter-inch (7.1 millimeters) in length. It belongs to an adult dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period 145 million to 100 million years ago, reported University of Portsmouth paleozoologist Darren Naish in the August issue of the journal Cretaceous Research.

The bone was found by an amateur fossil hunter who didn't realize what he had... he kept the bone in his bedside table for two years before showing it to an expert. More on the find here and here.

And lastly, why didn't any of you buy me this pair of fighting dinosaur skeletons?! You don't love me.


Comments (9) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Technically, it's just a matter of having some close relatives and some fossil DNA and then turning off or on some sequences and modifying the eggs.

Personal DNA full sequence scans are in the $9500 range, just had another price drop.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Vince 2
@1 But I've had birds all my life and it's important to understand they have behaviors that are very much tied in to their body structures. A long tail, for example, might make us think it looks more like a dinosaur, but instinctually I don't see that it will be used like one. And if we engineer arms and hands, will they just flap all the time like a bird trying to gain flight?
Posted by Vince on June 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Which would come first though, the dinosaur or the dinosaur egg?
Posted by kinaidos on June 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Mary P. Traverse 4
@2 excellent point, but I wonder if a creature that had these appendages from the beginning of its life would adjust accordingly... or perhaps the genetic switch that creates the appendage might also flip a genetic switch in instinctual behavior?
Posted by Mary P. Traverse on June 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Vince 5
@4 There is a bird in Florida that still has claws on it's arms. It's behavior is to use both it's claws and it's wings.
Posted by Vince on June 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 6
Try it and see, what the fuck. At the end of the experiment, you can always fricasee it up for dinner.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 14, 2011 at 2:58 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@6 for the yummy Four Loko Yoko Ono stirfry win!
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 14, 2011 at 4:44 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 8
Well, Mary, that was supposed to be a surprise for your birthday, but you just had to peek. Now you don't get anything.
Posted by MacCrocodile on June 14, 2011 at 9:19 PM · Report this
venomlash 9
@1: "some fossil DNA"
Stopped reading there. If you want me to pay attention to you, please bear in mind that I can't hear you clearly when you've got Jurassic Park's metaphorical cock in your mouth.
Posted by venomlash on June 14, 2011 at 11:02 PM · Report this

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