The globe is filled with many unique species, isn’t it? At home, we like spending time with our dogs and cats. Walking outdoors, we can see deer, foxes, and rabbits. The zoo opens up a new world of animals. Unfortunately, a catastrophe wiped out every dinosaur, or did it? Could there still be dinosaurs on Earth coexisting with us?
According to some researchers, dinosaurs are kind of still alive today. They continue to exist as the creatures that descended from them. Since they are related to dinosaurs in a shared ancestor, birds may be thought of as a living group of dinosaurs. There isn’t any proof, however, that any dinosaurs, such as Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, or Stegosaurus, are still alive today, with the exception of birds.
At the end of the Cretaceous Period, at least 65 million years ago, these and all other non-avian dinosaurs became extinct. The bones of dinosaurs and birds exhibit a number of similar evolutionary traits. By tracing the evolution of dinosaurs from bigger groups into progressively smaller ones, one may see the progression of these evolutionary improvements.
Animals cannot select how they develop as they evolve. We need to understand “evolution” in order to comprehend this. This process describes how all living things, including us humans, developed over millions or perhaps billions of years from earlier living creatures. Various creatures have unique peculiarities to assist them in surviving in the world.
For instance, 66 million years ago, the cataclysmic catastrophe that wiped out all other dinosaurs and brought about the end of the Mesozoic period was survived by birds. Fossils indicate that T. rex and Triceratops fights were frequent. Afterward, ash covered the Earth, chilling it and preventing the plants from receiving the sunshine they require to live.
Animals that consumed plants would have struggled to survive. However, birds did, maybe because they were still little at the time. They probably lived in cramped quarters, eating seeds and insects. Additionally, flying would have allowed them to search a wider area for food and shelter.
However, no current species would undergo the same evolution into a dinosaur if the circumstances that followed the demise of the dinosaurs occurred again today. This is due to the fact that modern creatures have a vastly different evolutionary history than dinosaurs had. They have developed traits that make it easier for them to thrive in the modern environment, but these traits also constrain how they could evolve in the future.
Are All Animals Descendants of Dinosaurs?
The quick response is no. An animal must be a member of the class of creatures known as Dinosauria for it to be considered a real “dinosaur.” These all descended from the same progenitor as modern birds and Triceratops. Dinosauria does not include any other living organisms than birds.
In order for a dinosaur to develop again in the future, it would need to descend from a bird. This animation aids in illuminating the process through which dinosaurs finally gave rise to birds. Sauropods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ornithopods, ceratopsians, and non-bird theropods were among the extinct members of the dinosaur clade.
A tiny group of theropod dinosaurs gave rise to modern birds. This relationship is constrained, though, because so much time has elapsed. Birds, in particular, have vastly distinct “gene” collections. The genetic differences between an ancestor and a descendant will increase with the number of generations between them.
Consider how much a bird would have to alter in order to resemble a Triceratops or a Tyrannosaurus rex. A much. Dinosaurs had long tails that were covered with bones. Birds have had stumpy tails for more than a hundred million years. It is doubtful that this will ever be undone.
Falcons and pheasants are examples of birds whose tails are small on the outside but have lengthy tail feathers within. Modern birds also solely use their hind legs while walking and often have four toes and three “fingers” on each wing. Contrast that with Triceratops, which had four toes and five fingers on its rear foot in addition to walking on all four limbs.
According to fossil finds, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus both possessed scaly skin covering most of their bodies. Although most contemporary birds have scaled feet, none of them are entirely scaled. Triceratops possessed a “beak,” yet it was nothing like a bird’s beak. Moreover, Triceratops possessed rows of teeth below its snout and jaws.
Since 66 million years ago, no bird has ever had teeth. Given these stark differences, it’s quite improbable that birds would ever develop to resemble their ancient dinosaur ancestors. Additionally, no ancient dinosaur will ever be revived, with the possible exception of in movies.
Which Creatures Descended From Dinosaurs?
Nowadays, it’s rare to find anything resembling a Stegosaurus roaming the streets. But perhaps we’re casting our gaze in the wrong place. Experts would advise us to go to the skies to locate the dinosaurs’ descendants. According to experts, birds descended from dinosaurs.
This concept is not wholly original. Scientists discovered the fossils of the dinosaur Archaeopteryx, which resembled a bird, in the 19th century. Since then, scientists have tried to close the gap between extinct reptiles and contemporary birds. For the scientific community, Archaeopteryx is crucial.
It featured both dinosaur and bird-like characteristics. It possessed a full set of teeth, unlike birds. Additionally, it featured a lengthy tail and claws at the tips of its wings. But it had shortened fingers and wings, unlike dinosaurs. The earliest bird on Earth, according to many, was the Archaeopteryx. One hundred and fifty million years ago, it was alive.
Scientists have discovered fossils from many dinosaur species that resembled birds in recent years. They definitely think now that dinosaurs are the source of contemporary birds. Specifically, the maniraptoran theropod dinosaur clade is where birds originated.
Numerous little meat-eating dinosaurs were part of this group. Velociraptor is one illustration. You may have seen them in “Jurassic Park” or “Jurassic World.” The Velociraptor was most likely far smaller in the real world than in the movies. It wasn’t quite as fierce, either.
According to experts, there is a ton of proof that these dinosaurs are the source of birds. Maniraptoran theropods, for instance, also lay eggs. They accomplished this in a manner quite similar to modern birds. Even the eggs themselves have a bird egg appearance.
But the most compelling evidence comes from more recent finds. Many of the theropods known as maniraptorans possessed feathers, according to experts. Because they have feathers, birds were long believed to be special. According to current scientific knowledge, dinosaurs may have also been able to fly.
Crocodiles are a descendant of the archosaurs, the “ruling lizards” of the early to the middle Triassic epoch of the Mesozoic Era, along with pterosaurs and dinosaurs. As members of the Early Triassic-era group of creatures known as archosaurs, or “ruling reptiles,” crocodiles and dinosaurs had a common ancestor (250 million years ago). Around 95 million years ago, the first crocodile developed during the Late Cretaceous epoch.
What People Believe
There you have it, then. Although dinosaurs are extinct, you’re not the only one who still believes in them. According to a recent poll, out of 2,000 Americans, 46% still think that real dinosaurs still live in far-off places, most likely in ecosystems like those shown in movies and unaffected by evolution or civilization.
Only 33% of the respondents properly replied “no,” although another 22% of respondents believed it was possible that dinosaurs still live today. Although it is thought that dinosaurs have been gone for 66 million years, most Americans think their extinction was much more recent. Only 10% of respondents knew the exact date that dinosaurs were extinct.
23% of them stated that it occurred two thousand years ago, 21% one hundred years ago, 18% ten thousand years ago, and 13% three million years ago. 15% of those polled believed it to be none of the aforementioned possibilities. We seek to address what appears to be a severe information gap regarding those extinct animals.