Chickens are said to be the closest living relatives of the Tyrannosaurus rex. Ever since the finding was reported, the humble chicken has been put through several experiments. Once researchers from the University of Chicago and University of Chile attached fake dino tails made of wood and clay to chickens to see how the bipedal carnivore T. rex would have walked.
The analysis of DNA was done to the fossil of dinosaur also known as T-Rex which was found in 2003. The fossil itself was unique, because it contained a little bit of soft tissues like blood vessel, which allow the researchers to extract sufficient amount of DNA for the research.
The scientists were also comparing the DNA of a Mastodon fossil to modern days animals and the result was amazing. They found that the proteins found in the T-Rex fossil were most similar to those of chickens, and the mastodon were most similar to modern day elephants.
For a long time, actually scientists have predicted the correlation between birds and dinosaurs based on the shape of their bones. But that was all just a prediction without any further researches. And the research conducted in 2008 gave the real answer.
“We determined that T rex, in fact, grouped with birds – ostrich and chicken – better than any other organism that we studied,” said Prof John Asara from Harvard to Telegraph. It determined avians’ relationships with non-avian dinosaur’s evolution.
“We also show that it groups better with birds than modern reptiles, such as alligators and green anole lizards,” he continued. It means that although dinosaurs were reptiles, modern days reptiles are their more distant cousins rather than birds.
Yes, we all know that dinosaurs met the extinction when a giant asteroid hit the earth, but actually not all of those dinosaurs died out. But actually, some dinosaurs with smaller size didn’t die out and survived the Armageddon. Those dinosaurs are the ones who evolved to nowadays birds.
The smaller size of their bodies required less food than those with bigger size. And it was also easier for them to find shelter from following disasters after the asteroid hit the earth. Maybe that was why they could survive and finally maintain their kinds until evolving to nowadays modern avian.
As a prove, you can trace chicken’s genetic ancestry to find out the look of the ancestor of this animal. And if you can do it far enough, you will find that its look resembles the shape of the fossils of dinosaurs you can find in the museum.
Credit : Earth buddies
Picture Credit : Google