We all have heard that the chicken is a close living relative of the tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur. The giant monstrous beast that ran on its hind legs terrorizing smaller prey is a predecessor of the smaller chicken family member. It only takes a few looks to see the resemblance.
Researchers have taken the genetic makeup and suppressed the part that makes the chicken have a beak. The result is a broad jaw and palate that resemble that of an alligator. The scientists were originally trying to find out what made the beak a beak and how it developed from that of a dinosaur like bird into what we see today.
Some scrutinization from scientist acknowledge that the tests could have simply interferrred with normal development of the chicks. Also it is possible that the chemicals used fused or created material in between where dinosaur material might have been.
In that case, the fact that some of the chickens resemble dinosaurs might just reflect the fact that they placed tissue-killing chemicals in the bird embryos right where dinosaurs had a gap between bones. Perhaps the inconsistent results are explained by the degree to which the chemicals killed the tissue in different chicks.
If the results of the scrutinization are true it would not imply or support the theory that dinosaurs are in fact the predecessors of modern birds. It wouldn’t necessarily disprove it from the theory either though. It simply wouldn’t be a valid argument that they were or could be.
The eggs were not hatched out of concern for ethical reasons but the scientists believe that they would be viable, hatch, and go on to live a normal life. They of course were not hatched though out of concerns from doing so with the technology. They likened it to no major difference than what modern breeders might do with genetics in breeding programs.
It is interesting to see what the skull and jaw makeup looks like in the experiment but it may not be a good idea to have them running around the yard. We all know what a mad rooster can do as it is without a mouthful of tiny needle-like teeth.
Read more at the BBC column.
More on the scrutinization here.