The discovery of Tyrannosaurus rex tissue may have raised the spectre of bringing Dinosaurs back to life, but the public reject the idea of a real life Jurassic Park
Last week scientists confirmed soft tissue found in a 68 million year-old fossilised Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex for short) is indeed genuine, having previously believed it was impossible for tissue to be preserved for such a long period. Fresh evidence into the effect of iron on the preservation of tissue raised the prospect of gaining access to T-rex DNA and everything that comes with it. Despite wild speculation – the prospect of creating free roaming dinosaurs in the near future remains incredibly unlikely – scientists are however seriously considering bringing back to life woolly mammoths using DNA fragments found in fossils.
YouGov research shows that, even if it were possible, the public oppose bringing back dinosaurs – but are a bit more receptive on extinct mammals
Around one in six (58%) oppose the idea of bringing dinosaurs back to life; with only around one in four (26%) in favour and a further 16% don’t know. Bringing back mammals such as the woolly mammoth (only extinct for around 4,500 years) gains more support from the public, 37% support bringing back to life extinct mammals with 48% opposed.
There is a significant gender gap in the results, with men (36%) more than twice as likely to want to bring dinosaurs back to life than women (16%). Men are more likely to support bringing extinct mammals back to life than oppose it, with almost half (47%) in favour, compared to just 27% of women.
Despite there being little appetite for its revival, the Tyrannosaurus rex is the country’s favourite dinosaur – picked by a third (33%) of the public with an opinion, followed by the Diplodocus (21%), Triceratops (18%) and the Stegosaurus (15%).
Even if most people don't want to bring them back to life, dinosaurs remain a global fascination to this day: the original 1993 Jurassic Park was the highest grossing film of all time until it was surpassed by Titanic in 1997, whilst the 3D re-release – released in August 2013 to commemorate its 20th anniversary – grossed over $100m (£61m) worldwide.