[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Dino DNA in fossil egg
> From the Desk of Chrysalis
> Dino DNA in fossil egg
> My local paper today carried an article from Reuters that the
> to have found dinosaur DNA in a fossilized egg.
> More specifically they said they "discovered organic substances
> amino acids in a 'cottonlike' part of the inner surface of the egg's
> The egg is from the central Henan province and is believed to be 70
> years old.
I have been able to obtain a trace of amino acids from a dinosaur egg
from the same area and age. I would like to see the method they
used because if it was similar to that used by Vianey-Liaud et al
(1994) in Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, the results would be highly
suspect and likely contaminated.
> Also that they "found DNA in the egg and succeeded in obtaining a
> variety of gene fragments."
Possible, but unlikely. The eggs I reported on in the press release I
posted came from China too and show the best possible chance of
producing 'Dino DNA'. It may be that the Chinese got there first :-)
> Other news in the same article (also on China) was about "a diet
> that was traced to the diseased shell of fossilized eggs" being a
clue to the
> "disappearance of the Jurassic giants."
Of the huge number of eggs from China, I have yet to see one that is
diseased. I find it unlikely that the evidence they have can draw a
parallel between a few (possibly) diseased eggs and the extinction of
dinosaurs (see below for more info on this - I'll probably argue
myself into a hole though ;-).
> Any comments, particularly on the latter part of egg shells? Is this a
Yes and no. Zhao has already suggested this in the same volume
mentioned above. Whether what he describes is pathological or just
variation in eggshell morphology between different egg laying
dinosaurs, remains to be seen. I have a colleague is an expert on
poultry eggs and she has shown me some pathological occurrences
in chicken eggs. They do not appear to show any similarity to
previously described dinosaur egg pathologies. Zhao also records
trace element concentrations as being higher in the
specimens collected from horizons with many 'pathological'. Another
explanation for this is that the pore waters affected the trace element
profile causing an enrichment for precisely the reasons Zhao gives
for the reason for the 'pathologies'. I don't know of any taphonomic
study into the preservation of eggs in the fossil record that have been
conducted... perhaps this is an area for a grad-student or someone
else to investigate?
Right that's enough from me in this message. I'l send another related
message separately. Watch this space......
Curator of Palaeontology
University of Glasgow
Mountains are found in erogenous zones.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)