• Question: Why can't we clone the dinosaurs using the technique shown in Jurrasic Park?

    Asked by sammehftw to Tom, Hugh, Matt, Douglas on 25 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by bradfordj.
    • Photo: Tom Hardy

      Tom Hardy answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      We could! The technology for cloning does exist. It’s just about recovering sufficient, viable tissue to use. Unfortunately cells and tissue cannot stay alive for millions of years so we don’t have anything to work with. Fossils are hard and don’t contain any tissue. Shame.

    • Photo: Hugh Roderick

      Hugh Roderick answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Because unlike in Jurassic park we haven’t found a sample of DNA complete enough to be able to do the cloning. Though if we did find such a sample I think we could notionally be able to do it with the technology we have, we’d have to be careful about which animals we used as surrogate mothers for any cloned dinosaur.

    • Photo: Matthew Hurley

      Matthew Hurley answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Cloning hasn’t got to this sci-fi level yet, but it probably could. problem is, the scientists in jurassic park used frog DNA to repair the sample they had from the mosquito. The resulting ‘dinosaur’ would therefore be a little bit ‘frog’.

    • Photo: Douglas Blane

      Douglas Blane answered on 25 Jun 2010:

      Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

      I’d have a diplodocus and a brontosaurus and keep them in a big park. In fact I’d have a lot more than one, so they could have babies.

      Cloning a dinosaur isn’t impossible. But it is very unlikely we’ll ever be able to do it.

      The main reason is that DNA doesn’t last forever. So the chances of finding any in good condition from an animal that died 65 million years ago are pretty slim.

      We can always hope though.

      Find out more about cloning dinosaurs here: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/dinosaurs/dinosaur-cloning.htm