How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

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Breakdown
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How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

Post by Breakdown »

Excuse the confusing title, but after watching a video about Jack Horner's dino-chicken, it got me thinking about how we could ressurect extinct creatures a different way. This made me think of GxMG where the professor effectively ressurects Trilobites via crab tissue and mechanical components, and ultimately ressurects the '54 Godzilla as Kiryu.

Could we theoretically "create" a near perfect replica of an animal using genetic materiel from other animals and cybernetics? I know a few years ago, scientists created a "cyborg singray" that had a gold endoskeleton and nerves/tissue from a rat that allowed it to move on it's own when exposed to light. How far are we from bring able to make a biomechanical raptor or T-Rex? Is it at all plausable in the near future as technology advances?
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Desghidorah
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Re: How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

Post by Desghidorah »

You'd be able to make something that somewhat looks like it, but it won't act like it. Instincts, those behaviors ingrained in the DNA, are extremely nuanced and subject to tiny changes. The two closest relatives to non-avian theropods would be birds and, following that, crocodilians. Both of which are extremely different from classic non-avian theropods behaviorally and anatomically. We are advancing in robotics and integration for applications like betters prosthetic limbs and organs like artificial hearts and pacemakers, but we're not to the point the tech can be fully integrated with organics. So a near fully robotic body would be the best bet. The problem is, again, instincts.

Birds aren't just the last dinosaurs who sprung up at the end of the Cretaceous. Birds are a very specialized branch of the Coelurosauria family that appeared over 150 million years ago. For perspective, birds appeared at more or less the exact same time as very early Tyrannosauroids (the early ancestors of T.rex) and are actually older than Dromaeosaurids ("Raptors").

And back in the Jurassic period, 150+ million years ago, Tyrannosauroids looked like this, and were small carnivores behavior the same way jackals do today.

Meanwhile the birds were sporting sickle claws, could barely fly, had mouths full of serrated teeth, and no beaks to speak of.

What I'm getting at is a lot has changed. Birds existed right alongside their fellow dinosaurs for another 100 million years before an exceedingly small number of avians were the sole survivors of the mass extinction. Every single bird you see today all descended from a tiny number of species. They are extremely specialized dinosaurs which modified over almost double the length of the entire Cenozoic era, modified for things no other dinosaurs ever mastered like flight. The closest we've come to a bird re-inventing a non-avian Theropod design and in some ways improving upon it, were the Phorusrhacids or "Terror Birds", all of which are extinct.


What this giant tangent amounts to is basically that while birds are dinosaurs and many non-avian theropods like T.rex were very bird-like, one also needs remember there is an extreme range of behaviors across all of modern birds. To paint the picture, there is only about 45 million years separating an eagle from a woodpecker and less than 40 splitting woodpeckers from toucans. Meanwhile there is over 3x the length of time separating birds from Tyrannosaurs, which is also 3x longer than the divide between mice and whales. And crocodilians, the next closest match, split away from dinosaurs from their mutual ancestor over 240 million years ago.


So one could make something, in a few decades perhaps, that resembles a non-avian theropod but it would probably never behave like one. In a way, the movie did use this semi-realistically with the mecha-trilobite not actually being a true trilobite. It's just a horseshoe crab molded to resemble a trilobite.
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mikelcho
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Re: How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

Post by mikelcho »

I'd like to add something here.

The phorusrhacids weren't the only time that birds re-invented a non-avian theropod design. Earlier than that in the Cenozoic Era, there were giant birds like Gastornis (formerly Diatryma) that filled that niche as well. The only things I don't know are their exact classification or if they're still considered carnivores or not.
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Desghidorah
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Re: How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

Post by Desghidorah »

mikelcho wrote:I'd like to add something here.

The phorusrhacids weren't the only time that birds re-invented a non-avian theropod design. Earlier than that in the Cenozoic Era, there were giant birds like Gastornis (formerly Diatryma) that filled that niche as well. The only things are I don't know their exact classification or if they're still considered carnivores or not.
Actually there is pretty good evidence Gastornithiformes like the truly gigantic Dromornis were all chiefly herbivores with maybe some omnivory. Though you are right and other predatory ground birds have existed. Until a few thousand years ago, giant flightless owls roamed Cuba on a smaller scale. On a larger size, the Bathornithidae were more or less the homegrown North American answer to the Phorusrhacids, of whom they are related. They could get pretty big, up to about 2 meters tall; though weren't as robust as some of the larger Phorusrhacids like Titanis.


Sorry if I sound trumpeting on this, I just have experience as I helped put together a museum exhibit for Titanis.
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mikelcho
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Re: How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

Post by mikelcho »

Desghidorah wrote:
mikelcho wrote:I'd like to add something here.

The phorusrhacids weren't the only time that birds re-invented a non-avian theropod design. Earlier than that in the Cenozoic Era, there were giant birds like Gastornis (formerly Diatryma) that filled that niche as well. The only things are I don't know their exact classification or if they're still considered carnivores or not.
Actually there is pretty good evidence Gastornithiformes like the truly gigantic Dromornis were all chiefly herbivores with maybe some omnivory. Though you are right and other predatory ground birds have existed. Until a few thousand years ago, giant flightless owls roamed Cuba on a smaller scale. On a larger size, the Bathornithidae were more or less the homegrown North American answer to the Phorusrhacids, of whom they are related. They could get pretty big, up to about 2 meters tall; though weren't as robust as some of the larger Phorusrhacids like Titanis.


Sorry if I sound trumpeting on this, I just have experience as I helped put together a museum exhibit for Titanis.
Thanks a lot! This helps.
Last edited by mikelcho on Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

edgaguirus
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Re: How plausible are the cyborg creatures?

Post by edgaguirus »

While our technology is advanced, being able to reproduce an extinct species is still impractical. For example, we have mammoth dna, and could use elephants to selectively breed a true mammoth back into existence. However, it would take multiple generations and manipulation to get a full blood mammoth.

Using dna and biomechanics makes this more complicated, but it might be possible with the right techniques. However, I doubt we'd get a true dinosaur from it. Modern birds and dinosaurs are distant relatives, so it would be difficult to get the bird out the dinosaur. The closest we might get is something that looks like a dinosaur, but with slight avian features. We'd have a better chance if we could get a complete dna strand of a dinosaur, but we have not found such a thing yet.
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