Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tastes Just Like Chicken?

Yeah, sometimes I get a little carried away. Some of my family and friends may remember me commenting about dinosaurs in my yard on the appearance of a sparrow or some other bird. It was partly my sense of humor and partly an intentional note of the similarities between some dinosaurs and birds.

The Connecticut River Valley is known for its dinosaur footprints. Rocky Hill's Dinosaur State Park has a large indoor display of tracks. There are several sites in Massachusetts also. Even at a quick glance, they seem to bear a similarity to chicken tracks, to me at least, another similarity.

Through the years it seems that more and more paleontologists are open to the the thought that some dinosaurs and birds are more closely related than originally thought.

Science Friday recently did an interesting interview with Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University who did some work with John Asara of Harvard. It's like paleontology and chemistry working together. Sounds like they were actually able to look at some collagen from a 68 million year old tyrannosaurus rex leg bone. Awesome. They studied the collagen-protein sequences and compared them to other animal types available and it seems that the T. rex was closer to the ostrich or the chicken, than to something like an alligator. Interesting and amazing work.

I'll have my T. rex without gravy please.

Links of note:

Rocky Hill Dinosaur State Park: http://www.dinosaurstatepark.org/

Science Friday Article: http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200804253

M Schweitzer's Field Notes: http://blogs.lib.ncsu.edu/page/schweitzer

HMS Press Release: http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/TRex.html

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