Naked Scientist: Scientists have figured out what dinosaur DNA may look like

Researchers at the University of Kent in England have compared the genomes of the closest descendants of dinosaurs - birds and turtles - to establish how the overall genome structure of some of the species, like the Velociraptor or Tyrannosaurus, might have appeared.

Scientist, Chris Smith explains the findings and how the group came about it.

It turns out that turtles and reptiles and therefore birds all have a common ancestor way back in evolutionary history about 250 million years ago, they have not shared an ancestor since. So if we look at the genome structure of a turtle, reptile and bird the really extraordinary thing is that they are really similar, they have similar DNA organisation.

Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

In fact they have got more than 30 chromosomes and some really big chunky chromosomes that have a lot of genes on them, but they have got lots of these miniature micro-chromosomes that have very few genes on them.

Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Because turtles have that and birds have that, they would have shared an ancestor before the dinosaurs came along, that tells us the dinosaurs might have had that to.

Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

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This article first appeared on 702 : Naked Scientist: Scientists have figured out what dinosaur DNA may look like


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