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ETpro's avatar

If we did have the complete DNA genome for a Triceratops, could we make one?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) February 25th, 2010

In Jurassic Park, the premise was that dinosaur blood found in mosquitoes embedded in amber allowed scientists to recreate the life forms of the age of dinosaurs. Aside from the obvious problems such as how to feed T. Rex and recruiting the endless stream of intrepid yet hapless animal trainers we would need, what real-world challenges would stand in the way of actually building a Dinosaur Theme Park with real live representatives of the Jurassic Age?

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20 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

What would provide the uterus? (We might be able to do it with a mammoth, or a sabretooth, because there are still elephants and tigers)

phoebusg's avatar


First of dinosaurs are from the Triassic period (not Jurassic, Hollywood also got that wrong.).
Secondly as per @dpworkin what animal would you use to ‘house/feed’ the fetus? Unless you develop some sort of giant lab to house it in.
It’s not impossible, we just lack the tools currently.

Though, we already know how to A) make an artificial cell, B) employ a ribosome to get to build the rest of the cell parts.
So you can start with the small cells, culture them. But then you need an environment that is non-toxic to that fetus, and one that can nourish it etc.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t know but my kid would love it if that were possible
Also, weren’t they from the Cretaceous time period? I dunno much, but I do know what Dinosaur Train teaches me! lol

phoebusg's avatar

@casheroo Triassic until the Cretaceous.

MissAusten's avatar

@casheroo My kid would love it too! Triceratops is his favorite dinosaur!

ragingloli's avatar

You know we would use eggs, right?

dpworkin's avatar

@ragingloli Oh, good, maybe an ostrich.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes. If I remember correctly, eggs back than were not much bigger than today.

dpworkin's avatar

Well, shit, what are we waiting for?

ragingloli's avatar

For the DNA.

dpworkin's avatar

I found it confusing enough to have had my twins in vitro.

Trillian's avatar

I thought it would be mixed with frog DNA then put into an egg. A really big egg apparently.
@casheroo , I hope you’re holding of on that baby until Sunday evening! Seventeen years ago on that date and at that time (Naples, Italy time) my son was born, and that’s my guess for you. Otherwise, you’ll have an aquamarine baby, and that’s a really expensive stone!

ETpro's avatar

@phoebusg Oops. Wrong period. Thanks for the correction. Nobody has really nailed the technical hurdles yet. But there are some huge ones, as you suggested. DNA is just a part of what’s needed. In tha case of dinosaurs, fortunately a womb would not be needed. But lots of other supporting props would.

AstroChuck's avatar

@phoebusg- Triceratops is from the last part of the Cretaceous period, not the Triassic. The Triassic period had smaller dinosaurs. The Jurassic period saw the real monsters. The late Cretaceous saw Triceratops and T-Rex, as well as the Chicxulub asteroid impact that pretty much ruined their day.

mattbrowne's avatar

Not today. But in 2025 perhaps. The complete genome is not enough. We know the complete genome of Craig Venter. Can we create another one? Not today.

Fyrius's avatar

“First of dinosaurs are from the Triassic period (not Jurassic, Hollywood also got that wrong.).”
Are you sure about that? Back when I was still a little dinosaur nerd, all the books told me dinosaurs are found in three geological periods: triassic, jurassic and cretaceous.

Wikipedia seems to concur.

Fyrius's avatar

Hang on, I think I might have misread you there. Did you mean the first dinosaurs were from the triassic age?
In that case, never mind.

Shuttle128's avatar

@Fyrius I don’t think that Hollywood every proclaimed that the first dinosaurs were from the Jurassic period so you are probably safe in your original assumption (that’s how I read it at least).

benjaminlevi's avatar

I am pretty sure a triceratops could not survive in our low oxygen levels, the cretaceous had around 30%.

ETpro's avatar

@benjaminlevi You may well be right, but that dodges the question of whether the genome alone would be enough to create one.

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