Some days ago, a friend on tumblr, knowing of my love for dinosaurs, sent me the link to this Ted talk by paleontologist Jack Horner: ‘Shape-shifting dinosaurs’. Horner proposes that a number of bones that paleontologists have classified as belonging to different species, belong in fact to the same dinosaur. He argues that the skull of some dinosaurs, like triceratops, changed with the the triceratops growing older, and the change was so remarkable that scientists, finding bones of young and older triceratops, thought they could not belong to the same species. Horner’s hypothesis is supported by some empirical evidence, in particular from the study of bones histology, but there are some that have doubts.
After watching that video, I found another one, in which Horner talked about his idea of building a dinosaur from a chicken. Basically, since birds are dinosaurs descendant, it’s possible, at least theoretically, through genetic engineering, to reactivate ancestral traits such as tail, teeth, hands, and create what Horner calls “chickenosaurus”. Cool, isn’t it?