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Re: DNA & JP
>The talk of T-rex vision and amphibian DNA got me wondering (and I don't
>think the book ever discussed this): If the dinos in JP had frog dna
>inserted to fill gaps, would this amphibian dna be passed on the the
>dinos born outside the lab? (and there were plenty in the book). I
>realize the entire cloning thing is speculative, but since I know nothing
>about dna/gene splicing/whatever, what would happen to this outside dna
>as future generations arose?
Since DNA IS inheritance, the frog DNA would be passed on.
Of course, the use of frog DNA is purely for plot reasons. Birds and
crocs, and lizards and snakes, and turtles, and even mammals, have DNA
which would be closer to dinosaur patterns than frogs (the more recent
common ancestor of all amniotes vs the ancestor of all tetrapods).
However, Crichton needed the sex-change ability of frogs for his plot.
And of course, the T. rex vision is also for pure plot reasons. If the
dinosaur did have the proper vision (4 or 5 types of color receptors,
sclerotic-ring type focusing, etc. = better than human vision), then Grant
and the kids would be lunch. With the (almost certainly bogus)
frog-vision, the cast has a chance and Crichton & Spielberg get a great
scene out of it.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile Phone: 703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey FAX: 703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA 22092