Forget Jurassic Park, Scientists Actually Want to Make a Dino-Chicken

Paleontologists set their sights on a part-chicken, part-dinosaur hybrid: the chickenosaurus.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

There are things in this world that were born to be together—peanut butter and jelly, pizza and happiness—and things that mesh a little more awkwardly. Recently, a group of scientists came up with their strangest hybrid yet: the chickenosaurus. It’s a chicken that’s been partially modified to look like its evolutionary ancestor, the dinosaur, through a series of small, deeply bizarre, molecular modifications.

While the chickenosaurus was initially just a wild idea, the project is well on its way. Just recently, scientists announced that they were able to modify the beak of a chicken embryo to give it a dinosaur-like snout. Before the chicken can fully become a chickenosaurus, though, scientists will need to give it a long tail, teeth, and dinosaur hands and arms. Amazing science, but it’s more than just chicken play. As Dr. Jack Horner, one of the leading paleontologists on the project, explained to Live Science: “Any of us that have any curiosity about ... where everything came from has to be interested in evolutionary biology.”

Scientists have big plans for the chickenosaurus. Once they launch the dino-chicken, more creepy/creative hybrids are expected to follow. According to Horner, “A glow-in-the-dark unicorn is not out of the question.”