Which animal is the Tyrannosaurus Rex most closely related to – the Crocodile or the Chicken?
This is one of those questions where the most obvious answer is not the right one. The fact is that T.Rex, in evolutionary terms, is closely related to the chicken. The birds descended from the dinosaurs – while the cold-blooded reptiles, including the crocodile, are on a far more ancient evolutionary branch.
The scientific evidence comes from a study in which the amino-acid sequence from T. Rex collagen was compared to that of various modern species. It proved to be more similar to the chicken than any other creature alive today.
So, are chickens dinosaurs? No – the birds are a distinct group of animals, but they did descend from the dinosaurs, and it’s not too much of a twist of facts to call them modern dinosaurs.
There are many similarities between the two types of animal, largely to do with bone structure. It also appears that many of the dinosaurs had feathers – not for flight, but as adapted scales, to assist in heat regulation, and/or to assist in courtship displays, as in modern birds.