Advertisement.

EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.

ad
(Already a member? Click here.)


You might also like:
Geologic TimeSorting: Color and count the Faces Worksheet PrintoutLabel Ear Diagram PrintoutI Can Color Halloween wordsFeelings and EmotionsToday's featured page: Middle East



T. rex skull ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur
News
Bits of Triceratops Gene Extracted
July 29, 2000


Triceratops was a large, giant plant-eating dinosaur that had three horns on its head and a bony neck frill. Triceratops lived during the late Cretaceous period (about 72 to 65 million years ago) and was preyed upon by T. rex.
Marsic, Carroll, Heffelfinger, Tyler R. Lyson, Joseph D. Ng, and William R. Garstka report that they have extracted genetic material from the fossilized bones of Triceratops, a large, plant-eating dinosaur.

These scientists analyzed samples from two vertebrae and a rib fragment of a Triceratops from North Dakota, USA, isolating 130 base pairs of its 12S rRNA gene (ribosomal RNA, a type of RNA found in the ribosomes of cells, where protein synthesis occurs). 100% of the base pairs matched those of the turkey (and 94.5% were similar to many of the other bird RNA samples tested). If true, this find certainly strengthens the argument that birds and dinosaurs are closely related.

Dr. Garstka, from the University of Alabama, worked with scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences and NASA to extract the RNA from the poorly mineralized samples. Most fossils are basically rock reproductions of the original organic tissue - over time, the original tissue undergoes the process of mineralization (in which the original atoms are replaced by new minerals, so a fossil doesn't have the same chemical composition as the original object). Poorly mineralized fossils, such as this one, retain some of their original organic material. It is this remaining organic material that was analyzed for genetic material.

This is an extremely controversial result, because most scientists think that nucleic acids (the organic material that DNA and RNA are made of) will not survive intact for over 100,000 years. Also, the birds are thought to have evolved from small theropod dinosaurs, and not ceratopsians (a type of ornithischian dinosaur), who diverged from the theropods (a type of saurischian dinosaur) almost a hundred million years before the first known bird (Archaeopteryx) appeared.

Dr. William Garstka reported this find at the Florida Symposium on Dinosaur Bird Evolution: Raptors, Rexes, Fuzz, and Feathers on April 8, 2000.

RELATED LINKS
A page on Triceratops.

A page on the evolution of the birds.

A page on Archaeopteryx, the earliest-known bird.

A printout on the turkey

Other fossils found in the USA.

Chart of geological time.




Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Copyright ©2000 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page