Genetic scientists have successfully grown ‘dinosaur legs’ on chicken embryos for the very time.
The researchers managed to recreate dino-like fibula bones on the lower leg of the chickens.
“These studies are not aimed at producing dinosaurs for commercial or non-scientific purposes, as in the Jurassic Park series,” the scientists said.
In dinosaurs, the ancestors of birds, the fibula is tube-shaped and reaches all the way down to the ankle.
During the evolution to birds, the bone became and shorter and no longer connected to the ankle, forming a splinter shape at one end.
Scientists have previously noted that bird embryos first develop a tubular, dino-like fibula which then becames more ‘bid-like’ as they mature.
By inhibiting a growth gene with the amazing name of Indian Hedgehog (or IHH), scientists managed to grow chicken embryos with long fibias that connect at the ankle, just like a dinosaur.
The dino-chicks were never meant to hatch, but were intended to help scientists figure out the biological process that transforms dinosaur legs to bird legs.
This isn’t the first time that scientists have managed to manufacture dinosaur-like traits in birds.
The same researchers have previously produced the non-opposed toe found in dinosaurs on a bird embryo, while a lab at Yale created a dinosaur-like snout on an embryonic chicken.
Image credit: University of Chile
Via: Science Alert