Age dating dinosaur bones
The idea of recovering dinosaur tissues and using dinosaur DNA and proteins to reconstruct evolution is tantalising.
But it’s unclear how, or if, they can survive tens of millions of years.
But they were still full of life, coming from inside the bone.
Amino acids extracted from the fossils showed the unmistakable signature of life.
Ancient amino acids show a 1:1 ratio, but the bones were dominated by left-handed molecules, showing recent biological activity. Living things take carbon from atmospheric CO₂, which contains radioactive carbon-14.
See also these papers by: Curt Sewel, Do-While Jones, Michael J.Moreover, organic tissues and vessel-like structures extracted from the bones – similar to those identified elsewhere as dinosaur tissues – glow like a Christmas tree when stained with a flourescent dye that binds to DNA.The abundant DNA suggests these organics are made by bacteria, not dinosaurs.One of the tricks you learn hunting dinosaurs in Canada is to look for orange. But in the middle of the drab sandstones of the badlands – a dry landscape where wind and water have worn away much of the rock – you’ll sometimes catch a flash of fluorescent orange.Walk over and you may well find a dinosaur bone weathering out. The bone gives the lichen a stable foothold in the eroding landscape, it’s porous, storing moisture during droughts, and full of minerals like phosphate, vital to a growing lichen.