Living tissue

For some scientists, all this talk of ancient fossils seemed like a lot of old fossils telling us about other old fossils. Then, in 2006, a team of scientists extracted pliable, organic soft tissue from the femur of Tyrannosaurus (see Chapter 9, footnote 3). If that weren't enough, a year later they determined that the molecular composition of one of the proteins, collagen, was more similar to that of living birds (a chicken, in this case), than any other living animal. For some - particularly non-paleontologists - that was the most compelling evidence of the relationship between birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs.

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