The premise of Jurassic Park was that scientists have found a way to use dinosaur DNA to bring back extinct species from the dead. The reality, of course, must be more complicated, but researchers from the University of Kent now say that dinosaur DNA is indeed all around us, we only see animals as part of our daily lives.
In a new article published in Nature Communications Scientists explain that the trail of the roots of dinosaur DNA led to a wild conclusion: birds are actually just modern dinosaurs.
It has long been believed birds are one of the few remnants of the ancient animals that we know as dinosaurs. Fossils have shown that many dinosaurs were covered with feathers and that their skeletal structures share much with those of birds we see today. As it turns out, it's no coincidence, and genetics gives us the ability to make connections between extinct species and animals we see around us.
"We believe it produces variations, and as many chromosomes are present, dinosaurs can mix their genes much more than other species," said Professor Darren Griffin of the BBC . "This mixing means that dinosaurs can evolve faster and help them survive as the planet changes."
Using the DNA of the next living relatives of dinosaurs, including birds, the team hit the rewind button and tracked the genome backwards to eventually reach dinosaurs. What they believe they have discovered is that much of the DNA of modern birds has been shared by ancient reptiles, meaning that the two are even more similar than scientists might have guessed.
"The fossil evidence and now our evidence reinforces The idea that birds and dinosaurs are not distant relatives, they are but one," says dr. Rebecca O & # 39; Connor, lead author of the study. "The birds around us are dinosaurs today."
Of course, today we do not see any birds that have bone-breaking jaws or massive armor plates. It is clear that evolution has taken it in a new direction, perhaps because of the incredible changes that have occurred on Earth in a very short time. These environmental factors have caused many species to fail, but not all. Birds you see today are actually the ancestors of the survivors.