Brooks Range
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Grizzly along the Denali Highway Rafting the Gulkana National Wild River Native woman drying salmon on racks ATV rider on trails near Glennallen Surveyor
Alaska
BLM>Alaska>Resources>Environmental Education>Dinosaurs on Alaska's North Slope>DNA Studies of Dinosaur Bones
Print Page

DNA STUDIES AND NORTH SLOPE DINOSAUR BONES

So far, no DNA has been found in dinosaur bones of the North Slope. When they were first discovered in the 1980s, and before they were studied, the relatively light weight of several bones caused speculation that they might contain a lot of the original bone tissue from the once-living dinosaur. Since then, the result of studies have not supported this idea. Instead, they have shown that the bones are highly mineralized with none yet proven to contain recoverable dinosaur DNA or anything else from the living dinosaur. So is that the end of the story? Not quite ....

Though not yet well-studied and certainly unproven so far, among the best candidates for containing recoverable biomolecular material (maybe even DNA), are dinosaur bones with lots of silica mineralization. In those, there is a possibility that silica could have encapsulated and thus helped protect some original cell matter. But whether such ancient material, if it exists, could be viable or extractable is also unknown. Thus, future DNA hunters may indeed wish to continue studying North Slope dinosaur bones. And their findings could surprise us all!