Protein links T. rex to chickens

Vastet
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Protein links T. rex to chickens

Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK

By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News

Protein extracted from 68 million-year-old T. rex bones has shed new light on the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds.
Researchers compared organic molecules preserved in the T. rex fossils with those of living animals, and found they were similar to chicken protein.

The discovery of protein in dinosaur bones is a surprise - organic material was not thought to survive this long.

A US team of researchers have published the finding in Science journal.

The team says their technique could help reveal evolutionary relationships between other living and extinct organisms.

The finding is consistent with the idea that birds can trace a direct evolutionary line to dinosaurs.

The proteins are original organic material from the dinosaur's soft tissue, and not contamination, the scientists argue.

According to theories of fossilisation, original organic material is not thought to survive as long as this; finding them in a fossil this old is a genuine surprise. They are by far the oldest such molecules extracted from fossils.

"It has always been assumed that preservation of [dinosaur bones] does not extend to the cellular and molecular level," said co-author Mary Schweitzer, from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, US.

"The pathways of cellular decay are well known for modern organisms. And extrapolations predict that all organics are going to be gone completely in 100,000 years, maximum."

Brooks Hanson, an editor at Science journal said: "The goal of obtaining sequences either from proteins or DNA for extinct [organisms] has been a long-standing goal to test evolutionary links and processes, or even functional information."

The work builds on an earlier discovery of soft tissue - including blood vessels - by Dr Schweitzer's team in the same, incredibly well-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossils.

Exceptional preservation

The dinosaur remains - which include a skull, both thigh bones and both tibiae (shin bones) - were unearthed from rocks in the Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana, US.

The fossils were buried under at least 1,000 cubic metres of loose sandstone, interspersed with muds, which are thought to represent ancient stream channel sediments.

The proteins found in the T. rex bones belong to the elastic connective fibres - known as collagen - that support other tissues in the body.

Collagen makes up most of the organic material in bone, which consists of both minerals and protein. It is the same substance injected into the lips, and other areas of the body, in cosmetic surgery procedures.

When minerals are removed from human bone, a collagen matrix is left behind. The US scientists performed the same operation on the T.rex fossil, and found what appeared to be residual traces of collagen.

The findings of protein in the bones were confirmed by mass sepctrometry, a sensitive technique that identifies chemicals by their atomic mass.

It was able to show the T.rex material contained sequences of amino acids - protein building blocks - typical of collagen.

Chicken-like

When the scientists compared the protein sequence pattern to those of living animals in a database, it was found to be structurally similar to chicken collagen, and there were also similarities with frog and newt protein.

Dr Schweitzer said the similarity to chickens was exactly what one would expect given the relationship between modern birds and dinosaurs."

Dr Jack Horner, a co-author from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, said: "The fact that we're getting protein is very exciting."

He explained that extraordinarily well-preserved fossils such as the ones in question were probably not unique.

"To get specimens like that involves excavating enormous amounts of material, covered with tens of feet of rock," Dr Horner said.

"The T.rex was under a thousand cubic yards of rock and therefore in a position not to have been invaded by bacteria or groundwater," he said.

"I think we're learning an important lesson here - that if we do get specimens like this, we spend a lot of time getting as deep into the sediment as we can in places where there has been very little atmospheric or water contamination."

Dinosaurs, excluding bird lineages, disappeared from the face of the planet 65 million years ago. The reptiles are thought to have been killed off by an asteroid impact which struck off the present-day Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6548719.stm

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thingy
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So what you're saying is ...

So what you're saying is ... the chicken really did come first?


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No... I think he's trying to

No... I think he's trying to say that back in those times, cavemen ordered from KFT - Kentucky Fried TRex.


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Vestet, does this mean

Vestet,

does this mean you're going to take back that whole thing about crocs being dinosaurs?


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Conn_in_Brooklyn

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

Vestet,

does this mean you're going to take back that whole thing about crocs being dinosaurs?

Oh, I saw this coming. Smiling  Are you two going to kiss and make up?

Conn, you're right.  Crocs are related to dinosaurs in that both dinosaurs and crocs descended from archosaurs.  Birds, however, are dinosaurs.  I have a pet dinosaur named Gabby.

But regardless, you guys need to kiss and make up. Smiling 

I'm having an argument with Vastet concerning the feasibility of X-Wings taking out a Star Destroyer. I'm not sure I'll win the argument, but I'm still collecting data. Eye-wink 

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I have no hard feelings

I have no hard feelings towards Vestet - I actually quite like all that I've read from him - very sharp wit.  I'd like to think that he doesn't think I'm being a dick or, you know, needlessly provocative ... it's just a clever aside considering that notorious thread and I couldn't help myself.

Vestet, I heart you - let's spoon.

(Iruka - the closest I get to Sci-Fi are old Twilight Zone episodes and the Hitchhiker's Guide, which I just finished like 3 days ago, so you'lll have to pardon my ignorance on the whole "xwing" deal thingies ...)

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So now that they know

So now that they know chickens were T-Rex's, are they any closer to figuring out the age old question of why the T-Rex crossed the road?

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thingy wrote: So now that

thingy wrote:
So now that they know chickens were T-Rex's, are they any closer to figuring out the age old question of why the T-Rex crossed the road?

Why did the T-Rex cross the road?

To eat the lawyer straight out of the can. 

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thingy wrote: why the T-Rex

thingy wrote:
why the T-Rex crossed the road?

 

To rampage trough the creation museum.... bitches. 

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Quote: ....

Quote:
.... bitches. 

Wow - I just laughed out loud ... at work.


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Iruka Naminori wrote: I'm

Iruka Naminori wrote:

I'm having an argument with Vastet concerning the feasibility of X-Wings taking out a Star Destroyer. I'm not sure I'll win the argument, but I'm still collecting data. Eye-wink

Check out the original X-Wing game. One of the missions is an assault on a Star Destoyer. It takes a single X-wing to blow up its shield generators with proton torpedos and whole SD becomes a sitting duck for Y-wings. It wouldn't be hard to substitute X-wings for Y-wings in this scenario; you'd just need a few more of them because they don't carry as many torps.

The game is published by Lucas Arts, so I assume it's "accurate."

 

 

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Tilberian wrote: Iruka

Tilberian wrote:
Iruka Naminori wrote:

I'm having an argument with Vastet concerning the feasibility of X-Wings taking out a Star Destroyer. I'm not sure I'll win the argument, but I'm still collecting data. Eye-wink

Check out the original X-Wing game. One of the missions is an assault on a Star Destoyer. It takes a single X-wing to blow up its shield generators with proton torpedos and whole SD becomes a sitting duck for Y-wings. It wouldn't be hard to substitute X-wings for Y-wings in this scenario; you'd just need a few more of them because they don't carry as many torps.

The game is published by Lucas Arts, so I assume it's "accurate."

 

 

LOL!  We were having this exact discussion in another thread ---> http://tinyurl.com/3a9x3v <--- Click here.  I was thinking about trying to contact Michael Stackpole, Star Wars author and game developer about the feasibility of attacking Star Destroyers with X-Wings.  I've done it many times in the X-Wing games, but Vastet says the games don't reflect "reality"...or uh, Star Wars reality. Smiling 

My X-Wing:

 

Isn't she a beaut?  I have to install X-Wing Alliance and Darksaber's Ultimate Craft Update for some Star Wars battle goodness.

How did this thread morph from dinosaurs to Star Wars

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Vastet
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This isn't a Victory class

This isn't a Victory class Star Destroyer we're talking about, it's a Super class. You can ask Stackpole, Zahn, Salvatore, Anderson, Rostoni, Shapiro, or Lucas himself. A handful of standard X-Wings cannot take out a crewed and functional Super Star Destroyer, fourth most powerful creation of the Empire. Lets look at a quick breakdown.

Length
SSD: 19,000 Metres
X-Wing: 12.5 Metres

Crew:
SSD: 150,000
X-Wing: 1

Weapons:
SSD: 250 Star Fighter classed turbolaser batteries
250 Capital classed heavy turbolaser batteries
250 Capital classed ion cannons
250 concussion missle tubes
40 Star Fighter and Capital classed tractor beam projectors
(Note: Some recent changes multiply some of these figures by up to 5)

X-Wing: 4 Star Fighter classed laser cannons, 2 torpedo launchers.

Complement:
SSD: 144 Tie Fighters
X-Wing: Nothing

The Executor once survived collision with 3 Imperial Class Star Destroyers. I'm sorry, but no X-Wing is going to knock it down.

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Vastet wrote: This isn't a

Vastet wrote:
This isn't a Victory class Star Destroyer we're talking about, it's a Super class. You can ask Stackpole, Zahn, Salvatore, Anderson, Rostoni, Shapiro, or Lucas himself. A handful of standard X-Wings cannot take out a crewed and functional Super Star Destroyer, fourth most powerful creation of the Empire. Lets look at a quick breakdown. Length SSD: 19,000 Metres X-Wing: 12.5 Metres Crew: SSD: 150,000 X-Wing: 1 Weapons: SSD: 250 Star Fighter classed turbolaser batteries 250 Capital classed heavy turbolaser batteries 250 Capital classed ion cannons 250 concussion missle tubes 40 Star Fighter and Capital classed tractor beam projectors (Note: Some recent changes multiply some of these figures by up to 5) X-Wing: 4 Star Fighter classed laser cannons, 2 torpedo launchers. Complement: SSD: 144 Tie Fighters X-Wing: Nothing The Executor once survived collision with 3 Imperial Class Star Destroyers. I'm sorry, but no X-Wing is going to knock it down.

So, are we talking strictly about an SSD, then?  Because then I might have to agree with you.  The scenario that the entire starfighter complement would be annihilated therefore allowing X-Wings to directly assault the SSD by themselves is not realistic.  I have, however, taken out lesser Star Destroyers with a complement of fighters and feel that would be realistic (in an unrealistic Star Wars kind of way). Laughing out loud

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Vastet
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Just an SSD. Or the Eclipse.

Just an SSD. Or the Eclipse. Or the Sun Crusher. Anything else I can think of would be able to be taken out by a suitable number of X-Wings. But you could throw 2000+ X-Wings at any of those 3 and they'd fly through the cloud as if they were gnats. Eye-wink

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Vastet wrote: Just an SSD.

Vastet wrote:
Just an SSD. Or the Eclipse. Or the Sun Crusher. Anything else I can think of would be able to be taken out by a suitable number of X-Wings. But you could throw 2000+ X-Wings at any of those 3 and they'd fly through the cloud as if they were gnats. Eye-wink

So no love then?

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Ahh, it's finally pub

Ahh, it's finally pub day.  My favourite day of the week.  So looking forward to hitting the pub at lunch and seeing how long I can stay down there for, and getting a t-rex schnitzel from the pub for lunch.

 

 

 

(Yes, I did make this post specifically so I could say t-rex schnitzel). 

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Conn_in_Brooklyn

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Just an SSD. Or the Eclipse. Or the Sun Crusher. Anything else I can think of would be able to be taken out by a suitable number of X-Wings. But you could throw 2000+ X-Wings at any of those 3 and they'd fly through the cloud as if they were gnats. Eye-wink

So no love then?

There might not be love, but there's certainly no hard feelings. I might get pissy in a topic, but it will generally stay in that topic. Sticking out tongue

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Vastet

Vastet wrote:
Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Just an SSD. Or the Eclipse. Or the Sun Crusher. Anything else I can think of would be able to be taken out by a suitable number of X-Wings. But you could throw 2000+ X-Wings at any of those 3 and they'd fly through the cloud as if they were gnats. Eye-wink

So no love then?

There might not be love, but there's certainly no hard feelings. I might get pissy in a topic, but it will generally stay in that topic. :P

Fair enough - ... so who won this star Wars video game thingie argument then?

 

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That comparison of

That comparison of tyrannosaur and chicken proteins was done because chickens are readily available for extracting the appropriate proteins from. It does not mean that T. rex was especially close to chickens as opposed to other birds; in fact, that wiould be a big surprise if it was ever discovered.
T. rex most likely had the same evolutionary distance from *all* present-day birds, since their ancestors started diverging only in the late Cretaceous, and T. rex's ancestors diverged before then.