In a quest for more knowledge about the humongous species that had walked the Earth some millions years ago, scientists are beginning to unfold mysteries surrounding dinosaurs. Just recently, a group of scientists has confirmed that one of the fossilized bones they have unearthed was actually from a pregnant T-Rex or Tyrannosaurus Rex.
What’s interesting in this recent find is the missing piece that scientists all over the world have been searching for: DNA. For several decades now, scientists remained baffled on these mysterious and giant creatures that once roamed the world. And with the single DNA, researchers could explore more possibilities of the dinosaur world, the Daily Mail reports.
Scientist Lindsay Zanno of the North Carolina State University told the Discovery that the results of their initial study confirm that there’s a high probability that the recently found female T-Rex bones, particularly the medullary bone, contain DNA. The bone, Zanno said, could contain valuable DNA information that could be monumental in the field of paleontological research.
Zanno, however, was quick to add that further analysis of the recovered bone from the 68-million-year-old female T-Rex is needed to verify the DNA material. Medullary bone, which can only be found among female egg-laying animals, especially birds, is one of the types of bones that could contain and preserve the DNA information even if it hass been fossilized for millions of years.
“It’s a special tissue that is built up as easily mobilized calcium storage just before egg laying. The outcome is that birds do not have to pull calcium from the main part of their bones in order to shell eggs, weakening their bones the way crocodiles do,” Zanno told Discovery while explaining the mechanics and importance of the medullary bone to female dinosaur or any bird species.
She added that the medullary bone is only present before and during the laying of the eggs, and once the bird is done laying eggs, it vanishes after the bird finishes laying. The recovered medullary bone, which scientists believe came from a pregnant T-Rex, was unearthed in 2005.
Crocodiles and modern-day birds such as chicken are among the closest surviving relatives of dinosaurs. In fact, a group of Chilean scientists also ventured into a study where they genetically engineered a chicken embryo so the chick would grow a dinosaur-like lower leg.