MONTREAL: After years hunting the buried remains of prehistoric animals, Canadian paleontologist Hans Larsson now plans to manipulate chicken embryos to show he can create a dinosaur. Larsson, McGill University’s Canada Research Chair in Macro Evolution, said he aims to develop dinosaur traits that disappeared millions of years ago in birds. He believes that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo’s development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatomy.
Though still in its infancy, the research could eventually lead to hatching live prehistoric animals. Larsson said there are no plans for that now, for ethical and practical reasons.
“If I can demonstrate clearly that the potential for dinosaur anatomical development exists in birds,” says Larsson, a 10-year-veteran of bird evolution studies, “then it again proves that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs.” – AFP