Scientists have linked the dinosaur T. rex with birds and the mastodon with modern elephants.
Click on image for full size
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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
Fossils are evidence of what life was like long ago. The oldest fossils are over three billion years old and the youngest fossils are about 10,000 years old. Scientists that study fossils know that creatures...more
Scientists have learned that Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, has erupted in the past due to the mixing of two different types of magma. Adam Kent, a geologist at Oregon State University, says this...more
The Earth's mantle is a rocky, solid shell that is between the Earth's crust and the outer core. The mantle is made up of many different reservoirs that have different chemical compositions. Scientists...more
Some faults look strong and like they wouldn’t cause an earthquake. But it turns out that they can slip and slide like weak faults causing earthquakes. Scientists have been looking at one of these faults...more
The sun goes through cycles that last approximately 11 years. These solar cycle include phases with more magnetic activity, sunspots, and solar flares. They also include phases with less activity. The...more
Studying tree rings doesn't only tell us the age of that tree. Tree rings also show what climate was like while the tree was alive. This means that tree rings can tell us about climates of the past. Two...more
Earth's first life form may have developed between the layers of a chunk of mica sitting like a multilayered sandwich in primordial waters, according to a new hypothesis. The mica hypothesis, which was...more