If an Asteroid Hit Earth and All the Humans Died, Would the Dinosaurs Come Back?

Is it possible to recreate dinosaurs from their DNA?

at The Conversation‘s Curious Kids series: Many, many years ago dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Six-year-old Aga knows that a meteorite wiped them out… but could another meteorite bring them back?


Print version of this story: ‘Is it possible to recreate dinosaurs from their DNA?’

Would it really be possible to get the DNA of dinosaurs and then recreate them? – Lucie R., age 5, Atlanta, Georgia

As a paleontologist – that’s a scientist who studies ancient life – I’m asked this question all the time. After all, the scientists in “Jurassic Park” (and later, “Jurassic World”) used DNA to recreate dozens of dinosaurs: Triceratops, Velociraptor and T. rex.

And if you saw any of those movies, you had to wonder: Could real scientists do that today?

The ABCs of DNA

DNA – which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid – is something in every cell of every organism that ever lived on Earth – including dinosaurs.

Think of DNA as molecules that carry the genetic code, a set of instructions that helps bodies and minds grow and thrive.

Your DNA is different from everyone else’s. It determines many of the characteristics that define you, like the color of your eyes or whether your hair is straight or curly.

DNA is much easier to find in the “soft parts” of an animal – their organs, blood vessels, nerves, muscle and fat.

But a dinosaur’s soft parts are long gone. They either decomposed or were eaten by another dinosaur…

More here.