Well now, although it is still unlikely, the chances have been raised by the discovery of a fossilized dinosaur in the US. Almost all other dinosaur finds are skeletons, meaning that this fossilized specimen is a very rare find. It was actually discovered several years ago, but it is only now being fully excavated and analyzed.
Dakota, as the dinosaur is called, lived around 65 million years ago – making it one of the last dinosaurs ever to live. It was about 30 feet long from nose to tail, and weighed in at around 3.5 tons. It could run faster than T-Rex, making it quite a fearsome beast.
To become fossilized it must have been buried very quickly and not exposed to water, where micro-organisms could easily break it down. And before that it had to escape predators and degradation by by the weather. The conditions required for fossilization are so unlikely to happen that this is only the fourth fossilized dinosaur ever discovered – though this one is thought to be much more useful than the rest because of the excellent preservation of its skin.
Although this particular fossil does not contain any DNA, it raises the possibility of one day finding some DNA that could be used to bring the dinosaurs back to life. Not too long ago everyone would have said that dinosaurs could only ever be found as skeletons – they would never be fossilized.
Now that fossilized specimens have been found, it raises an intriguing question: could we one day find dinosaur remains that contain fully intact, useful genetic information? And if so, could we use that genetic information to bring Jurassic Park back to life? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.