Ruling reptiles taste just like chicken. For a reason.
April 13, 2007 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Put down that McChicken sandwich, punk, and back away slowly. OK, now run! The chicken is T. Rex's closest known living relative.
posted by jfuller (29 comments total)

 
I wonder what dinosaur I'm related to.
posted by davy at 9:08 AM on April 13, 2007


I'm the closest known living relative to the caveman.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:15 AM on April 13, 2007


My ignorant little creationist bubble is being prodded and poked at more every day.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 9:19 AM on April 13, 2007


Somewhere Fred Flintstone is smiling.
posted by jonmc at 9:20 AM on April 13, 2007


They should use the bones to make T-Rex stock, you know, for science 'n shit.
posted by jefbla at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2007


which is why everything "tastes like chicken" actually.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2007


title check; I lose.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2007


I'm glad they didn't compare the protein to, say, a sparrow, because chickens are funnier.
posted by gubo at 9:28 AM on April 13, 2007


For a year, my parents rented an old farmhouse about an hour north of Omaha. Being int he country, they thought they should have some livestock, so they bought a flock of chickens. I liked to sit out in the yard and read and watch the chickens move around. But periodically, they'd all sort of strut over towards me in unison, beady little eyes fixed, and there was something really, really menacing about them. I guess it was the Rex showing through.

there was also a deranged rooster named Rocky who tried to mount everything he saw-- chickens, ducks, cats, golden labs; he met his end when he tried to mount a coyote.
posted by COBRA! at 9:29 AM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd bet that Chickens, as a common food item, probably have a very well sequenced genome already. I think I read somewhere that Humans, Lab Mice, Drosphila (the fruit fly), Chimps, a kind of yeast, and e.coli are the most studied organisms, in some cases just because they are the ones with the greatest body of pre-existing knowlage. I'd bet chickens are pretty high up on the list as well.
posted by delmoi at 9:39 AM on April 13, 2007


Werner Herzog: "Have you ever looked into the eyes of a chicken? They are amazingly stupid creatures."
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:51 AM on April 13, 2007


Just to be clear, chickens aren't any more closely related to T. Rex than any other bird. All birds are presumably descended from some single dinosaur-bird link species. I just wanted to point out the obvious and, you know, kill the joke.
posted by squarehead at 9:56 AM on April 13, 2007




Marc Bolan would be disappointed.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:00 AM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


For some reason I had a thought that maybe dinosaurs didn't all die out, they just got shrunk somehow. Because if you were a tiny little worm, a chicken would look freaking badass to you.
posted by Talanvor at 10:09 AM on April 13, 2007


Haven't you seen Jurassic Park? Don't run! If you don't move, they can't see you.
posted by sonofslim at 10:53 AM on April 13, 2007


> For some reason I had a thought that maybe dinosaurs didn't all die out, they just got shrunk somehow.

That's been Ralph Bakker's talking point for some years: that birds aren't descended from dinosaurs, they are dinosaurs.


> I'd bet that Chickens, as a common food item, probably have a very well sequenced genome already.

I gather we aren't sequencing DNA here but protein. As someone who had to run and maintain a spinning-cup protein sequencer some years ago this impresses heck out of me. Unless protein sequencers have gotten a lot better in the interval (always possible) I can tell you determining the amino acid sequence of a long protein isn't an add-sample-push-button-go-to-lunch operation, it's a major pain in the butt.
posted by jfuller at 12:11 PM on April 13, 2007


I imagine this means of you behead a Tyrannosaurus Rex the body will still run around in circles.

Gosh, wouldn't that be funny?

Maybe not so much when the size differential is reversed...
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:13 PM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


"The chicken is T. Rex's closest known living relative.

I don't see anything like that assertion anywhere in the article. It does say the following:

"Some proteins identified in the ferociously fanged Cretaceous-era predator were a close match to protein found in modern-day chickens, which the authors say lends more credence to theories that birds are descended from dinosaurs"
posted by Manjusri at 12:15 PM on April 13, 2007


I've studied a lot about dinosaur evolution, for various articles I was writing... but not enough, obviously, because it was only a few weeks ago that I learned that of the two biological orders of dinosaur (bird-hipped or lizard-hipped), it was the lizard-hipped that evolved into the chicken and other birds.

It never occurred to me that birds, apparently, have lizard hips instead of bird hips. Short explanation. Long-winded explanation.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:17 PM on April 13, 2007


I have seen chickens chase down a lizard, grab it by the neck with it's beak and then smash it's head against the ground all the while looking like it knows what it is doing.
Yeah, they are dinosaurs all right but they taste like chicken.
posted by Iron Rat at 12:31 PM on April 13, 2007


My partner's mom, who grew up on a farm in Kansas, always did say that poultry was hateful.
posted by chuq at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2007


Once while living in a rural part of Louisiana, I was attacked by a chicken. Could've swore it was a feathered T-Rex. Chickens do have quite a mean-streak.
When I tell this to my 10 y/o son, he will start ordering t-rex happy meals. He already calls my home-made grilled burgers...Tyrannosaurus Burgers.
posted by winks007 at 1:54 PM on April 13, 2007


> I don't see anything like that assertion anywhere in the article.

One expects that if the researchers knew of a closer match they would have mentioned it. ("It's a pretty tight match for chicken but we found even more identical loci this morning when we ran it against tofu, so the current thinking is that T. rex may gave been a legume.") I infer from that, pretty safely, that they did not.
posted by jfuller at 2:18 PM on April 13, 2007


Robot Chicken is very enjoyable.
posted by maxwelton at 2:24 PM on April 13, 2007


Jfuller: I guess it is more of a semantic objection, but the post is misleading in that it implies that T-Rex and Chicken are more closely related than, say a Crocodile and T-Rex. That is not a safe inference from the article or the study.
posted by Manjusri at 4:09 PM on April 13, 2007


As someone who has eaten Tyrannosaur on numerous occasions, I can tell you this could not be further from the truth.

Technically, I could be executed for revealing this information, but I have confidence that no one here will believe me. I think my handlers will feel similarly.
posted by pokermonk at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2007


I drive past Harvard every day on my way to work and I've never seen any T-Rexs. Or any chickens for that matter.
posted by BostonJake at 6:36 PM on April 13, 2007


Jurassic Park came out in 1993. Jack Horner and other paleontologists have been discussing this possibility for decades. This confirms presumptions, which is nice, but not much to write home about.

Agreed, Max. Robot Chicken does rock.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:02 PM on April 14, 2007


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