The Jurassic Park dream has moved one tiny step closer to reality — as long as that reality involves a theme park filled exclusively with duck-billed dinosaurs.
Researchers say they’ve found evidence of preserved cartilage cells, chromosomes and DNA in a 75-million-year-old fossil that once belonged to a baby dinosaur. Scientists have long thought that DNA couldn’t survive longer than one million years, but the new discovery challenges that notion and could unlock the possibility of finding more dinosaur DNA in the future.
“These new exciting results add to growing evidence that cells and some of their biomolecules can persist in deep-time,” said Dr. Alida Bailleul, a paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and lead author of the findings.
“They suggest DNA can preserve for tens of millions of years,” she said.
Bailleul and her team found the samples in the fossilized skull of a baby hypacrosaurus, a duck-billed species of dinosaur that lived in what is now Montana.
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