This Jurassic period of the dinosaur could probably fly
The question is whether the Jurassic age Archaeopteryx was able to fly has long baffled paleontologists. Now new research may have the answer.
Life will find a way, as Jeff Goldblum’s character put it in Jurassic Park.
Researchers at the University of Kent in the united kingdom say they have discovered the genetic secret of how the dinosaurs came to dominate the Earth for 180 million years.
The team of scientists used mathematical techniques to identify possible genetic features of the first dinosaurs. They worked backwards from birds and turtles, which are the closest modern relatives of the dinosaurs.
The results of their work, published in Nature Communications in May suggest that the birds have today is very similar to DNA and ancient dinosaurs.
Dinosaur DNA was likely organized into segments known as chromosomes, the researchers found. They are of the opinion that the creatures’ larger number of chromosomes could explain why they came in many shapes and sizes.
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“We think it generates a variation. Having a lot of chromosomes can dinosaurs to the sequence of their genes, much more than other types of animals. This shuffling means that the dinosaurs can evolve faster and thus help to survive as long as the planet has changed,” Professor Darren Griffin told the BBC.
Although this sounds like a potential seed for a Jurassic Park-style theme park, researchers do not agree.
“We are not going to Jurassic Park anytime soon,” Griffin told the BBC, adding that simple is the dinosaur DNA in a distant relative egg would not produce a dinosaur.
According to CNET, researchers have speculated that the way DNA was organised could have ‘a blueprint for the evolutionary success”, because it is able to generate variation and the natural selection that keeps the animals alive. It can also be the reason why we see so much variation in modern-day birds.
However, there was a life-changing challenge the dinosaurs could not overcome—the huge asteroid impact 66 million years ago that wiped out all of them.
Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.