Descendants of the T-Rex: Beware of the Chickens!

The tyrannosaurus rex did die, but left the chicken behind to haunt us. While this may seem like a parody of Jurassic Park, with the menacing chickens out for our blood, it is also true that they are the descendants of the T-Rex, and if you feel that your whole life was a lie, you are not alone. So, how are the seemingly innocent chickens, running to and fro in your backyard, can descend from the enormous T-Rex? Well, take a look at the next paragraph!

It all started after the discovery of an adolescent female T-Rex (the bone, of course), dating back to 68 million years. The surprising element in these whole sequence of events seemed to be about the soft tissue, which was still intact to the bones! This was an unlikely occurrence, but nevertheless, paved the way for further research. The bone, first unearthed by Jack Horner (from the Museum of the Rockies) in 2003, was studied by a team led by Mary H. Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences came across the soft tissue stuck to the bone in 2005. The collagen protein which was found, can be said as the oldest preserved, and subsequently an evolutionary link between the T-Rex and chickens was established, by way of comparing the chemical structure of the protein. The amino acid sequence when compared with the database of modern species, confirmed the link, and it further strengthened the long held idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The research paper was published in the journal, Science, a few years ago.

Well, thanks to the ancient T-Rex collagen, we can now maintain a safe distance from the fluffy chicken, and spare ourselves from an all-out invasion of those incredibly adorable creatures.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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