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Scientists have linked the dinosaur T. rex with birds and the mastodon with modern elephants.
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Courtesy of Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Scientists Use T. rex Bone to Link Dinosaurs to Birds
News story originally written on April 24, 2008

For a long time, scientists have thought that birds are dinosaurs' closest living relatives. They came up with this hypothesis based on the shapes found in bird and dinosaur skeletons. Now scientists have discovered more evidence that this is probably true.

The scientists took samples from a fossil T. rex bone that was discovered in 2003. They looked at the T. rex's genes and learned that T. rex is a relative of chickens and ostriches. They also found that the T. rex fits better with birds than with modern reptiles such as alligators.

The scientists used the same tests on a mastodon bone and were able to link the mastodon to modern elephants.

Last modified May 22, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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