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RE: Dinosaur-Turkey DNA

Almost too close a match, from what I've heard. If it turns out to be real, 
it may reset some molecular clocks.  It would embarrassing to find that 
Triceratops diverged from turkeys in, say, the late Miocene ...

  --Toby White

Vertebrate Notes at
and http://www.dinodata.net

-----Original Message-----
From:   Phillip Bigelow [SMTP:bh162@scn.org]
Sent:   Monday, April 17, 2000 11:01 PM
To:     MKIRKALDY@aol.com
Cc:     dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject:        Re: Dinosaur-Turkey DNA

> in this week's Science.
> "Dinos and Turkeys: Connected by DNA?" by Constance Holden."
<major snip>

> "The DNA match with turkeys caused the suspicious researchers to check
> for possible contamination through turkey sandwiches, etc., in the lab 
> the field but found no evidence of this."

Another press report probably paraphrased the research team by calling it
a "near perfect match with a turkey"....hmmmm.

I wonder how close to the surface that Triceratops was when parts of it
were found?  The first thing I thought of was possible modern
contamination via bird poo-contaminated surface water.  I don't know about
North Dakota, but in eastern Montana there are a LOT of galliformes birds
(turkeys, sharp-tailed grouse, prairy chickens) running around the
countryside and pooping up a storm.  And faecal material usually contains
a few shed intestinal cells from its host.

Just a thought.  Interesting research though.  Would be great if their
dino mtDNA study holds up to further scrutiny.