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Re: Jurassic Park cloning; a pondering
Hi dear dino-listers,
I come lately in this threat; I just talked about it with a good friend of
mine, a biologist interested in paleontology, paleobotany, evolution,...
First I'll tell you that I'm afraid by the development of genetic
engeneering, and I won't discuss more about why on list, an I immediately go
to the main point: to give life again to extinct species.
Many good things have still be said about it, and this is what I wanna add.
--- A permian bacteria spore contained in a salt cristal has been awaken.
--- Mammuths: I've heared about researches to re-create mammuths by
extracting DNA from frozen meat in the ice and working with extant elehants.
Since it's _frozen_, not fossilized flesh, DNA may be not too altered IMHO.
--- Dinosaurs: fragments of genetic stuff can be found, but which ones? And
where? In bones? In fleshy remains like in _Thescelosaurus_?
How many fossils must we analyze to found enough DNA to understand the
genetics of a dinosaur?
With which extant species shall we work to complete DNA: crocs? birds?
Hopefully IMHO, this is not for tomorrow!!
HP David Elliott wrote:
> It would probably be possible to create an animal that looks like a
> dinosaur, but since we will probably always lack information like colour,
> there'd be no guarantee it'd look perfect.
Good point here: what could be the influence of the extant animal's DNA on
the "creature"? Idunnow!!
HP Thomas P. Hopp wrote:
> The other problem that may be encountered with this level of genetic
> engineering your proposing is that these newly created dinosaurs would
> have no learned behaviors. (I realize that this is assuming that
> dinosaurs could teach certain abilities to their offspring.) The lack
> of these behaviors could seriously hinder scientist by giving a false
> behavioral pattern for these created dinosaurs.
Another good point: let's just think about crocs, for which learned
behaviors are very important - and (correct me if I'm wrong) most dinosaurs
had a brain very croc-like.
So I doubt very much about the appearence and the behaviour of those
And now the part of the post which is more in my domain: the _ecological_
And I only speak about recreated dinos in an isolated lab: what could happen
if some of 'em escape in the nature? - let's admit it's impossible...
Actual birds (dinosaur derived) have diseases and parasites, which had also
evolved: could a recreated dinosaur resist to those parasites?
For herbivores dinosaurs: could they be adapted to the actual vegetation?
Even ferns have evolved.
And I don't wanna speak about the (diverse) reactions of people!!
Hope this helps, friendly - Luc J. "Aspidel" BAILLY.