Maybe book explains it better but I haven't read it.

Their only dino DNA source was blood from the stomachs of mosquitoes found in amber that fossilized when dinosaurs still lived, correct?

Let's suppose that it is possible to use that DNA as a foundation and "fill in the blanks" using modern frog DNA.

But how did they know whose DNA it was to begin with? Was it t-rex, velociraptor or vegesaurus? All they had was "some DNA" with nothing to compare it to. If they didn't know who that was - how could they possibly aim for something specific while filling in the blanks?

Or was it more like "well, let's splice some frog DNA in missing spots, put it all in chicken egg and see what develops" approach?

4 Answers 4


They just grew what they found.

Here's the relevant quote from the book. (page 107 in the Ballantine mass market paperback from 1990)

"That's a new batch of DNA," Wu said. "We don't know exactly what will grow out. The first time an extraction is done, we don't know for sure what the animal is. You can see it's marked 'Presumed Coelu,' so it is likely to be a coelurosaurus. A small herbivore, if I remember."


It's been years since I've read the book, but, as I recall, it's what you said: they grabbed a bunch of samples, grew them, and just saw what came out.


I suppose that they try to grow whatever DNA they find.

Then, when it hatch (or die during the process due to missing DNA) they can see what kind of dinosaure it seems to be.

After that, they can pick some DNA from the (unborn) baby and do it again better, filling every gap with frog DNA or other similar samples they already have found

After a lot of attempts they can have a nearly perfect dino

I have nothing to backup that, it only seems logical to me and science somewhat works like that : trying again and again, learning a little more and improving a little at every step...


We know that geneticists in the project, like all scientists, sometimes forget in the zeal of discovery the end results and dangers of the proposed path. Therefore I think their thinking is all full steam ahead, deal with the consequences later. Sound familiar?

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