The Article Chicken Grows Face of Dinosaur at the BBC website is near two years old now, but still I found it interesting.
In truth what the researchers did was get a chicken embryo to grow the snout of an older species of dinosaur, and I do mean dinosaur.
At present there are known to be four families of dinosaurs, the lizard-hipped, the theropods — which are descended from the lizard-hipped, the bird hipped — also descended from the lizard-hipped, and the birds, who are descended from the theropods.
Now check out your refrigerator. Do you have any eggs in there? You do you have dinosaur eggs. The last time you had chicken or any other bird you had a dinosaur as part of your meal. We live with dinosaurs, our ancestors lived with dinosaurs, just not the great hulking creatures of earlier times. Our dinosaurs most often weigh just a few ounces and wake us up at an ungodly hour with their damn singing.
Keep a bird as a pet? You have a pet dinosaur. Have more than one, you share your life with what amounts to a flock of dinosaurs.
Going back to the subject of the article linked above I’m going to have a look at the possibilities this presents. No, not that we’ll have dinosaurs again, but that we’ll have old-style dinosaurs again. Or what look like old-style dinosaurs.
We won’t get the theropods back because these new dinos will be bird hipped. They may well be put into a new family, an artificial family. Maybe call them the neotheropods. And here you thought that the geneticists would be restricted to artificial species.
Now let us consider the impact on society. You can bet that the neotheropods are going to get out. Some will escape, some of those will thrive in the wild. Picture flocks of false dromeosaurs roaming your neighborhood preying on cats and small dogs, raiding the trash, and just getting into things. Add to this the small wounds inflicted on your young children when they persist in pestering one. Heck, let us consider the impact on the ecology, for the new neotheropods would add new dimensions and factors to what’s already there. A changing climate is bad enough, add a changing ecosystem on top of that.
At the moment I’ve seen nothing on any follow- ups to the experiments reported on above, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a neotheropod on the news someday. Then people with pet neotheropods. Followed by laws against letting the animals roam free, which will be ineffective in just the short run. Out here in California, I expect to see a statewide ban on pet new dinosaurs. Until the state is pretty much overrun by the animals, and that some people are making pets out of them much as they do wild geese, wild ducks, and even wild ravens.
Now I’m just one person, so even with a vivid imagination I can’t think of everything. What could you think of? How do you see this changing our world? What about just a million years from now, for you can bet the neotheropods are going to evolve.
Just thought you’d find this interesting.
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