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Palaeontology

Scientists know what dinosaur DNA looked like

By T.K. Randall
August 27, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments



Birds and dinosaurs still share remarkably similar DNA. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Nobu Tamura
In a recent breakthrough, researchers in the UK have managed to piece together a history of dinosaur DNA.
In the movie Jurassic Park, scientists use DNA preserved in amber to recreate living, breathing dinosaurs. In reality, however, achieving this is not quite so simple because over the course of millions of years, DNA inevitably breaks down, no matter how well it may have been preserved.

Now though, researchers at the University of Kent have found a way to build up a picture of what dinosaur DNA might have actually been like. Their study focused on analyzing the DNA of the dinosaurs' living descendants - the birds - as well as other prehistoric reptiles such as turtles.

By building up a history of DNA dating back 255 million years, they were able to discover that the DNA of today's birds is actually not that different to that of the dinosaurs themselves.
This DNA, they argue, has been highly stable throughout history and the way it has been organized may have "provided a blueprint for evolutionary success" by generating variation and facilitating natural selection. This may also be why there is so much variation in the bird species we see today.

"The fossil evidence and now our evidence reinforces the idea that rather than birds and dinosaurs being distant relatives, they are one in the same," said Dr Rebecca O'Connor.

"The birds around us today are dinosaurs."

Sadly though, the research is unlikely to lead to a real-life Jurassic Park anytime soon.

Source: CNET.com | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Dinosaurs are now scarier beast than before, the look that a chicken do before hunting a frog, chasing each other, tearing it up into pieces before swallowing it. Yeah surely they are dinosaurs.
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
Now I'm afraid of birds. Thanks.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
Ever see a ticked-off ostrich, uh, dino decendent?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
Yep. Just look at this roadrunner I saw and photographed a few years ago right outside my local library. I see them all the time. They are awesome little dinosaurs. My cat is (rightly) afraid of them too. PS: Damn, your picture size requirements are terribleon this site...I had to shrink this A LOT to allow it to be posted here... 240KB or less?! It's 2018...Even the crappiest cell phone camera makes larger image files than that nowadays.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Antnanna 5 years ago
Nice pic
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Yes, Nice pic. Did you see Wyle E. Coyote? I had gotten my Mom a mynah bird for a present. The bird talked, whistled and said some right things at the wrong time. My cat and dog had a habit of checking in on the bird. Well the cat got pecked on the tail since she liked to rub herself on the cage and the Brittany got pecked on the nose for her trouble. You may know, but mynah's are sloppy birds. They like taking baths and make a mess of their cage. The cages rust-out. Now what's supposed to happen in giving your mynah a new cage is to put his food and water in the new cage. open the do... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by qxcontinuum 5 years ago
Well this matches very well to some of the existing reality known to many of us, respectively many dinosaur species have never disappeared butevolved into something else. Egbirds today. I'm wondering actually weather scientist or able to determine our own evolution. Let me guess we are nowhere near the same age as the birds which can of course raise plenty of questions.


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