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Re: dino-chicken



On Thu, Aug 27th, 2009 at 4:13 AM, Dora Smith <villandra@austin.rr.com> wrote:

> I hate to disappoint him, but chickens don't need to be genetically 
> manipulated into becoming dinosaurs, and I wonder just what vision of a 
> dinosaur he is trying to reproduce?

I suspect they're mainly concerned about turning the genes for teeth, long bony 
tails, and wing 
claws back on, to make a stereotypical small non-avian theropod.

Pygostyle-like tails, toothless beaks, and reduced forearm claws were all 
present in various non-
avian theropods; so as you've pointed out, chickens are already 'nested' quite 
well within 
theropoda (if you'll excuse the pun).

You'd probably get a more dinosaur-like result from retro-engineering a 
cassowary - although I'm 
guessing chickens are a lot easier to work with in the lab (and a lot less 
likely to disembowel you).

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist                Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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