Is it a “chickenosaurus,” or a “dinochicken?” Famed paleontologist Jack Horner says that if you want to grow a dinosaur, you have to start with a chicken egg. As descendants of dinos, chickens carry some of the same DNA. So if chicken embryos have their genes reversed-engineered for every trait that they share with dinosaurs— like long tails, teeth, and three-fingered hands— you can grow living animals with dinosaur traits.
Previously, paleontologists thought they would be able to extract DNA from amber and then use it to clone dinosaurs, just as Michael Crichton detailed in his novel. But the real life experiments repeatedly failed and the idea appears to be possible only in fiction.
Horner (who was an inspiration for the character Dr. Alan Grant) thinks “the better route is to start with a descendant and work backwards. By taking a bird and manipulating four or five of its genes, you can grow a long tail instead of wings.” Then you can manipulate other traits to produce a complete dinosaur.