Recently, the new chapter of the Jurassic series – Jurassic World 2, has landed in theaters all over the world. Dinosaur fans have finally met with their long-awaited “giant pets”. The director team used some whole new technologies to shoot dinosaur models. These animatronic dinosaurs look so real in the film. Are the dinosaurs in the movie the same as the dinosaurs in the real world? Can we bring the dinosaur back to life? Let’s follow Wang Yuan, curator of the Chinese Museum of Ancient Animals, to reveal the real world of dinosaurs.
Question: Recently, Jurassic World 2 set off a “dinosaur hit”. Do you think the scene described in the movie is the same as the real dinosaur world?
Answer: Since the first film of the Jurassic Park series, it has ignited the enthusiasm of many fans. From the perspective of science, I think there is some difference between the content of the film and the real image of the dinosaur we studied. But some dinosaur images are recognized by experts.
For example, in the Jurassic World series, there have been many images raptors, with a combination of fierceness and wit. The height is about 2 meters. The cold scales are all over the body. But the real Raptor is only about 70 cm tall, and it is covered with feathers but not scales.
Of course, there are also some dinosaur images in the film that are more recognized by scholars, such as the Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, etc. This is indeed the image of dinosaurs hundreds of millions of years ago.
Question: Do you think that the term “dinosaur extinction” is accurate? Is the dinosaur really extinct?
Answer: The term “dinosaur extinction” is not completely accurate. Now many experts believe that dinosaurs are not extinct, and flying birds are their surviving descendants.
“Dinosaur extinction” is a view held by everyone for a long time, and there is some solid evidence to support it. About 66 million years ago, a huge comet hit the earth, and the dust collided into the air, forming a dust ball that wrapped the earth, and the dust ball blocked the sunlight. Some plants quickly withered. The herbivorous dinosaurs faced death first, and then carnivorous dinosaurs and many large dinosaurs became extinct.
In 1996, the first fossil of feathered dinosaur Sinosauropteryx was found to have a filamentous skin derivative of about 0.8 cm, which is considered to be the origin of bird feathers, but in fact some of its skeletal structure is similar to dinosaurs, and even its relationship with the bird is quite far. So the scientists put forward some conjectures and hypotheses that the birds evolved from dinosaurs, but there was no solid evidence to prove it at that time. Later, many feathered dinosaur fossils such as Beipiaosaurus, Sinornithosaurus, Yutyrannus, Raptor, and Caudipteryx were discovered one after another, proving that birds were evolved from small dinosaurs.
If birds are evolved from dinosaurs, then the idea of “dinosaur extinction” is not entirely right. Now there is a view in the academic world that dinosaurs are not extinct, and birds are their descendants. The meteorite that hit the earth sixty-six million years ago did not cause the extinction of all dinosaurs. It only caused the extinction of non-bird dinosaurs.
Questions: At present, can we resurrect dinosaurs and other paleontology based on DNA extraction methods?
Answer: The current technology can’t resurrect dinosaurs and other ancient creatures. Because dinosaur DNA has been degraded in the long years. Even if it is preserved, how to assemble them into chromosomes and implant them into cells is a big problem. .
After the dinosaurs died, their bodies would be corrupted soon, then the genetic material in the body cells would be degraded. The longer the degradation, the more difficult it is to extract the complete DNA. Some people ask if it can resurrect the mammoth because of some mammoth are found in the frozen soil, the corpse is well preserved and the DNA preservation is relatively good. However, in reality, we cannot restore ancient creatures at the current stage.
Question: What’s the significance of paleontology research for humans? What do you think about it?
Answer: “Where did humans come from? How did humans evolve? Where will humans go? ”I think this is a significant issue for everyone. Paleontology can provide a lot of real evidence for the study of human evolutionary history.
We study the evolution from fish to humans, and explore the development from primates to humans, and even endlessly trace the origins of life on Earth. Paleontology can provide a lot of scientific materials, that will help us uncover the mystery of human origin, and promote the development of science. Also, paleontology research can significantly help energy mining.