Dinochicken is not a good idea

Pax Arcana

When the ashes have returned to ashes and the dust is dust, it will be known that humankind did not succumb to global warming or the aftereffects of nuclear war.

Rather, the people of earth were slowly pecked apart by dinochicken — the brainchild of an early 21st century paleontologist named Jack Horner — and were then pooped out in pellets.

From Wired, who interviewed Horner upon the release of his new book How To Build A Dinosaur: Why I Decided to Fuck All of Humanity in the Ass Extinction Doesn’t Have to Be Forever:

Birds are descendants of dinosaurs. They carry their DNA. So in its early stages, a chicken embryo will develop dinosaur traits like a long tail, teeth, and three-fingered hands. If you can find the genes that cancel the tail and fuse the fingers to build a wing—and turn those genes off—you can grow animals with dinosaur characteristics.

If you tie a rock to your genitals and throw it off a bridge, you’ll look like a Ken doll. Doesn’t make it a good idea, doc.


Dinosaurs are not extinct; they’re still with us in this sense. Birds look different, but it’s all cosmetic. By tweaking some genes, we can bring out the underlying similarities. Yes, it’s a wild plan, but I like to think about things backwards.

I like to think about things backward also. Right now I’m thinking about whether I rented the car I used to blow up your lab or just used my own.

Look, it’s not like dinochicken will overrun the world. If he mates with a chicken, you still get a chicken. Eventually we might make animals that look more like dinosaurs, but we won’t have velociraptors on the loose.

You’re goddamn right we won’t have velociraptors on the loose. BECAUSE THEY’LL ALL BE EATEN BY DINOCHICKEN, YOU DOUCHE!

If you think we’re playing God, maybe. But we’re already modifying plants and mice. I don’t see a lot of people jumping up and down complaining about better tomatoes.

They would if you combined their tomatoes with rampaging dinosaurs. Just a hunch.

Scientists who play by someone else’s rules don’t have much chance of making discoveries.

Scientists who create dinochicken don’t have much chance of getting to the parking lot before their heads are pecked off.

Ultimately, we hope it can lead to a cure for genetic defects. Once we understand just how to control genes, we have the potential for spinal cord regeneration, bone regeneration, and so on. It might also give us plumper chickens.

Plumper chickens with razor-sharp teeth, that is.

The creature would be its own sound bite. It’ll go a long way toward convincing people that we can learn a lot from this sort of experimentation—about biology, development, evolution. Otherwise we’re just a bunch of wild scientists building monsters in our laboratories.

We can also learn a lot about the eating and — God forbid — mating habits of the dinochicken. If we could manipulate dinochicken’s genes to give it the ability to talk, we could even ask it what humans tasted like. Wouldn’t it be funny if it said “Tastes like chicken”??!!!?!! Oh man, we’d laugh and laugh. And then get eaten.

Q and A: Jack Horner Wants to Re-Create T. Rex From Chickens — What Could Possibly Go Wrong? [Wired]



Filed under science

8 responses to “Dinochicken is not a good idea

  1. Esquire

    But isn’t that what the viking shark is for? To protect us from predators like dinochickens?

  2. Unfortunately, much of the Brotherhood of Flying Shark Vikings has been deployed to Afghanistan. Obama’s not the only one with a surge to think about.

  3. Esquire

    Well, shoot. I guess the best we can hope for is that dinochickens and zombies turn out to be natural enemies.

  4. Pingback: An open letter to AIG «

  5. Pingback: “A dino ate my baby!” «

  6. Pingback: Why Is No One Criticizing Jack Horner And The Chickenosaurus? « The Nail That Sticks Up

  7. Vanessa

    Clearly you have no clue about what you’re talking about. Calling my boss a douche is very mature and I’m sure you’ll be taken very seriously. I like how you said the Dinochicken will eat all of the velociraptors. Fortunately, no one here in our lab gives a crap about what you think because you haven’t done any research and probably aren’t educated in our field. Everything you said was a comment on Wired’s article. So, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t make an ass of yourself. Jack (my boss) literally laughed at the ‘new’ title of the book and at how childish you are. Grow up and thanks for the great laugh!

    • You’re welcome! And while I thank you for the compliment, I’m pretty sure I won’t “be taken very seriously.” Unless you meant that as sarcasm, in which case the early 90s called and they want their awfulness back.

      Sorry for calling your boss a douche. And for writing a funny blog that morons take too seriously.

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