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How dinosaurs lived

Recreating dinosaurs

CarnotaurusCarnotaurus The 2015 movie Jurassic World features a genetically modified dinosaur, called Indominus rex ("Untamable king"). It is a species of theropod (flesh-eating dinosaur) called an abelisaur, and, according to the movie's website, is made up of genetic material obtained from Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops and Giganotosaurus. As in an earlier movie, Jurassic Park, scientists cloned the dinosaurs by extracting dinosaur blood, containing DNA, from mosquitoes fossilized in amber. But is bringing dinosaurs back to life really fiction, or can it be achieved for real?

Insect preserved in amberInsect preserved in amber

In September 2014, researchers from Manchester University attempted to extract DNA from insects preserved in an amber-like substance. They were completely unable to reclaim any DNA, prehistoric or otherwise. This is because DNA molecules can only survive a few hundred thousand years—not the tens of millions years required to be anything to do with dinosaurs.

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