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April 13, 2007

Study: Tyrannosaurus Rex And Chicken Related

Topics: General Science

trex_cover_cr.jpgFor years, many have believed that birds evolved from dinosaurs, based on the architecture of the bones. Now we have molecular evidence to back it up.

Very small samples of protein extracted from a 68-million-year-old dinosaur bone have given scientists the first strong genetic evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex, the huge meat-eating dinosaur (40 feet long, 20 feet high) that lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 85 million to 65 million years ago, is a distant cousin to the modern chicken (I wouldn't say proof yet due to the small number of sequences):

Scientists have long suspected that birds evolved from dinosaurs based on a study of dinosaur bones, but until recently, no soft tissue had survived to confirm the link.

That all changed in 2005 when Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University reported finding soft tissue, including blood vessels and cells, in a T. rex bone dug out of sandstone from the fossil-rich Hell Creek Formation in Montana.

Schweitzer, in another study appearing in this week's issue of Science, found that extracts of T. rex bone reacted with antibodies to chicken collagen, further suggesting the presence of birdlike protein in dinosaur bones.

More here ...

Related Tyrannosaurus Rex News

Posted by Harry Owens at April 13, 2007 6:00 AM

Can someone explain the aerodynamics of that bum-heavy dino?

Posted by: Minerva at April 13, 2007 3:45 PM

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