The first analysis of protein extracted from dinosaur bones confirms that birds today are closest descendants of the dreaded Tyrannosaur or Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex), according to a study published in the journal Science published Friday.
“These results confirm the predictions made from observations and anatomical skeletons represent the first molecular evidence of the link in the evolution of species between modern birds and a non-avian dinosaur,” said Chris Organ, a researcher at the University of Harvard (Massachusetts, east), co-author of this research.
The indices showed no previously that anatomical similarities between non-avian dinosaurs and birds.
The proteins analyzed and compared to those of 21 species modern bribes from collagen found intact in the femur of a fossilized T. rex by 68 million years ago found the USA in 2003.
These molecular analysis showed direct kinship with chickens, ostriches and to a lesser extent with a alligators.
The researchers also performed similar molecular analyses with proteins collagen derived from fossilized bones of mammoth dating from 160,000 to 600,000 years before our era and today off, who established a close kinship with modern elephants.
The research is based on work published in 2007 in Science by John Asara and Lewis Cantley.
These researchers respectively Medical Center Beth Israel Deaconess and the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University (HMS), were the first to sequence small fragments of collagen protein from a femur T. Rex.
The femur had been discovered in 2003 in a field rich fossil located in Wyoming and Montana (west). In 2005, paleontologist Mary Schweitzer at the State University of North Carolina (south east) had preserved tissue found inside the femur of the T. Rex.
The T. rex is a large carnivorous dinosaur that lived in what is now North America in the late Cretaceous period between 70 and 65 million years before our era. Its name means “tyrant lizard” but it has little to do with reptiles.
The sequel of Jurassic Park III will be horrible: The Chicken Park.