What would Earth have looked like if an asteroid hadn’t wiped out the dinosaurs: Would they have ruled us?

66 million years ago, one of the greatest catastrophes hit our planet. An asteroid with a width of 10 to 15 km fell into the area of ​​the current Gulf of Mexico. A huge tsunami, a devastating fire and an abundance of sulfate aerosols caused 75% of all animal species to become extinct within the next few weeks. What would happen if a space body missed us?

Dale A. Russell, a Canadian paleontologist and geologist working at North Carolina State University, asked himself this question. As a dinosaur lover, he was fascinated by the idea of ​​their evolution. He was convinced that if they had not become extinct, they could have gone through the sapientation phase and turned into intelligent beings – dinosauroids.

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“Dale Russell craved knowledge. Once something caught his eye, he wanted to learn as much as possible about it,” says Jordan Mallon, a paleobiologist at the National Canadian Museum in Ottawa. “In 1965, he became curator of our vertebrate paleontology collections. Three years later, he was examining the brain of a small carnivorous dinosaur called Troodon. He noticed , that its brain was relatively large. He realized that the common belief that dinosaurs were stupid might not be true. Quite the contrary. The Troodon could have been very smart.”

What would Earth look like with dinosaurs?

His research showed that the advanced theropod dinosaur, which lived about 77 to 74 million years ago, was seven times more intelligent than an alligator of the same size. At the same time, the development of his brain had an upward trend over geological time. At the same time, the creature had forward-facing eyes, moved on two legs, and its forelimbs had webbed fingers, just like our hands. These are all characteristics that we associate with intelligent animals today.

Dalea therefore asked himself simple questions: What if Troodon had not become extinct at the end of the Cretaceous? How would its evolution continue over the next 66 million years? He elaborated his hypothesis in an article he published in the early 1980s. Together with taxidermist Ron Séguin, he created the creature in its evolved form.

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“Our goal was not to make the Troodon human-like. We just applied the known evolutionary processes,” explains Séguin. “If you’re not hunting small animals, you don’t need a long neck and tail as a counterweight. You can walk upright. lips. He would feed his young with pre-digested food, as birds do. He would also communicate similarly.”

A controversial dinosauroid

Dalean’s theory was met with a mixed response from the scientific community. “The main problem was that the dinosauroid was approaching the idea of ​​the appearance of little green men,” says American paleontologist Peter Dodson. A number of experts were of the opinion that it was completely impossible for a dinosaur to evolve to look like a human and compete with it.

Source: Youtube

According to the researchers, on the other hand, longer-lived dinosaurs would have become smaller and would have fed mainly on flowering herbs. Some would resemble primates, others would look like cattle. They would evolve by living in packs and building more complex social bonds. Dale A. Russell’s dinosauroid thus became a mere hero of science fiction stories and serials.


www.stoplusjednicka.cz, www.cs.wikipedia.org, www.youtube.com, www.bbc.com

The article is in Czech

Tags: Earth looked asteroid hadnt wiped dinosaurs ruled

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