Canadian Hopes to Resurrect Dinosaurs With Chicken DNA

| 26 Aug 2009 16:54

Canadian scientist Hans Larsson believes he can revive dinosaurs by reverse engineering the genetic code of their closest living relative, the lowly chicken.

The plan, which likens to simply "flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo's development," came from Larsson's discussions with famed American archaeologist Jack Horner -- who, ironically, worked as a consultant on the Jurassic Park films.

Larsson's immediate plans do not involve creating a breeding program for full-sized Tyrannosaurs -- he currently has ethical and practical objections to the idea -- but he does believe his theoretical ability to reproduce "dinosaur anatomy" from chicken embryos is "a demonstration of evolution."

"If I can demonstrate clearly that the potential for dinosaur anatomical development exists in birds, then it again proves that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs," Larsson says.

Sounds like a win-win to me: The scientific community gets some fascinating data, and we get itty bitty chicken-sized dinos. Who will probably spit poisonous venom at us and eat our faces off, true, but they'll be so cute!

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