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Uncommon Discovery Animal Genetics .pdf


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Uncommon Discovery
Ancient DNA found in Animal Genetics laboratory
Tallahassee, April 2015. A totally unexpected

technicians

situation arose this morning in the laboratory of

numbered

Animal Genetic Inc., an internationally known

the samples

research company headquartered in Tallahas-

and entered

see, Florida. “I could never have imagined be-

the data into

ing the center of so much attention when my

our

wife and I left our house this morning to bring

computer

our kids to school. It was a normal day, like

system.

every other,” Arne de Kloet, head of Animal

Everything

Genetics, said about the events this Wednesday

proceeded

morning. But only hours later he answered

normally

phone calls from journalists all over the world,

until

all

Edward de Kloet examined the eggshells of

asking

the

same

question:

“How is that possible?”

The sample gets prepared for DNA
sequencing.

sample 97. “It’s not a big deal to differentiate
between male or female genes in bird DNA,” Ed

But let’s start at the beginning. We are talking

says, “but sample 97 was different; I had never

here about a major scientific discovery; perhaps

seen anything like this before.”

the most significant advance in evolutions sci-

Ed conferred with other technicians in the lab to

ence since Charles Darwin published The Origin

find out what they thought about sample 97.

of Species in 1859. The day started out like every

“My first thought was the sample might belong

other day with biological samples arriving by

to an elephant,” research biologist JoJo reports,

mail and getting organized for processing. As

“but then I realized elephants are mammals,

usual, the lab received a number of feather

and therefore do not lay eggs.” So more test

samples, as well as several blood and eggshell

were run, a total of 25 before the identity of the

samples for bird sexing. Also as usual, the lab

DNA could be conclusively ascertained – it was

the DNA of a Pterodactyl, specifically a member

eggs at the GDB GmbH (German Duck Breed-

of the species Pterodactylus antiques, a group of

ing Company) in Bitzen, Rhineland-Palatinate.

flying dinosaurs that went extinct more than 65

When the eggs arrived 8 weeks later Mr. Peters

million years ago. “It’s a miracle the DNA is still

transferred them into an incubator, placing the

intact,” commented Ed, but after consultation

packing

with paleontologists from the University of

cracked eggshells) at the bottom of the incuba-

California there is no longer any doubt – it is

tor. After the ruddy duck chicks hatched, he

Pterodactyl DNA.

collected the eggshells and sent them for sexing

material

(which

contained

some

to Animal Genetics. Sample 97 included some of
How the DNA got into the laboratory

the broken eggshells from the packing material,

The exact way the dinosaur eggshells ended up

so these eggshell samples must have originally

at the Animal Genetics lab has not yet been fully

come from Germany. But how dinosaur egg-

reconstructed. Sample 97 was sent in by 68-

shells could have been included with the pack-

year-old John Peters from Prosperity, South

ing material in the first place remains a mystery.

Carolina. His relatives in a small town near to

However, Pterodactyl bones had been found in

Cologne, Germany, are well known breeders for

Germany around 1961 at exactly the same place

ruddy ducks. During his visits in Germany

where todays GDB Company has its premises,

Mr. Peters developed an interest in these birds

so it is conceivable that some Pterodactyl egg-

and decided to start his own breeding colony in

shells had found their way inadvertently into

the US. He ordered 16 fertilized ruddy duck

the packing material.

Plans for the future
Once scientists at Animal Genetics had confirmed the presence of dinosaur DNA the question arose what to do with this unusual find.
One exciting option would be to insert the DNA
into a fertilized egg from a large bird, after first
Old picture showing the place where the Pterodactyl
bones were found in Bitzen, Germany in 1961.
Source: Rhein-Zeitung; local Newspaper in Germany.

removing the cell nucleus from that egg. If the
dinosaur DNA still contains the full comple-

ment of Pterodactyl genes, this procedure may

be trained as transport animals for carrying

enable Animal Genetics to clone the extinct di-

humans. The strong flying dinosaurs could eas-

nosaur. Obviously, this is a laborious and ex-

ily substitute for cars, offering an environmental

pensive undertaking with no guarantee for suc-

friendly alternative to our current car-based

cess. The Animal Genetics team is willing to

transportation system. Shannon from the ad-

devote any amount of time and effort to this

ministration office already sees herself flying to

project, assuming an interested investor can be

work on a Pterodactyl. “I’m so excited to expe-

found to provide the necessary funds, with

rience this stunning change in our lives. Imag-

Animal Genetics retaining 70% and the outside

ine you can fly to work or the grocery store

investor 30% of all the proceeds that would be

without producing environmental pollution.

derived from cloning the ancient flying dino-

That will be amazing.”

saur. At this early juncture it is not yet possible
to estimate the economic value that might be

We agree that these and other potential uses for

derived

clearly

Pterodactyls are indeed amazing. In fact, alone

Pterodactyls would be of considerable interest

the discovery of active pterodactyl DNA is

for zoos and rare animal collectors worldwide.

priceless. Follow-up reports will be issued as

Once that demand is satisfied, Arne de Kloet

soon as new information develops.

from

this

project,

but

envisions a host of future practical uses for this
“new” species. For example, Pterodactyls might

DNA
gets
extracted
from
an
eggshell.
Due to the data privacy policy the original DNA sample
cannot be published.


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