Do you remember the first time you watched Jurassic Park? Seeing dinosaurs come to life, creatures that had been extinct for over 65 million years, was equal parts awe inspiring and terrifying. Steven Spielberg gave us a cinematic marvel in 1993, one that still holds up today and has spawned a billion dollar franchise, including multiple movies, toys, merchandise and even theme park attractions (albeit it with animatronic dinosaurs, not real ones). But, what if I told you that we might have just taken one step closer to a real-life Jurassic Park? Hold on to your butts…
A team of scientists from the aptly named Chinese Academy of Scientists have published a paper recently stating that they have found full and intact strains of dinosaur DNA from a 125 million year old fossil. The dinosaur in question is a Caudipteryx, a Cretaceous era dino that was about the size of a peacock. They found material to test in cartilage found in the femur. After running a chemical analysis that is meant to illuminate different strands and possible full strands of DNA, they believe the results to be conclusive that they indeed have real life full DNA strands from a dinosaur.
This could mean that, similar to the current project intent on cloning a wooly mammoth, we could potentially clone an actual dinosaur and bring it into the 21st Century.
Now, before you start booking tickets to Isla Nubar, there are those in the scientific community that refute the findings of the paper. According to Chemistry World, this test is not a solid one and can lead to false positives and incorrect readings. Those involved with the study are aware, however, and also release that this is just the first baby step in a vey long testing process to find out whether they actually have Dino DNA or not.
Putting aside the ethical dilemma of bringing an extinct animal from millions of years ago back to life, getting the chance to see and study an actual dinosaur would be a dream come true for so many people and could possibly help us understand Earth’s history so much more – and who doesn’t want to be chased around a theme park by a T-Rex?!
What do you think of this new discovery? Will we get our own Jurassic Park? Let us know in the comments below!