Will we end up like the dinosaurs? We should be so lucky. The dinosaurs actually survived much worse than us. They were dealing with climate change and got hit by an asteroid and somehow made it through. In paleontological fact, dinosaurs never went extinct at all. Birds are dinosaurs, and they’re pretty badass too.
Mammals have been evolving with dinosaurs for millions of years and it’s only in the past few centuries that ‘we’ could claim any sort of dominance. If you could call killing our own damn selves dominance. Behold what we have done to our class (Mammalia):
Geologically speaking we look like total dumbasses. We have no place looking down on dinosaurs. They survived much longer than us, and also didn’t crash into themselves. For all we know, they’ll be picking our bones. Our vaunted civilization is just another mass extinction event the dinosaurs are living through. We’d be wise to learn from them how we ourselves can expect to straggle through.
The Mistaken Extinction
When the book The Mistaken Extinction was published in 1997 the idea that dinosaurs never went extinct was controversial. This idea is broadly accepted now, though popular language still lags behind. As paleontologist Julia Clarke says, “birds are living dinosaurs, just as we are mammals.”
The common idea that dinosaurs died and mammals took over after the K/T event (☄) isn’t true. Both lines survived, and it’s only recently that chickens have become a joke. Dinosaur species outnumbered and still outnumber mammals now. In popular language what we mean is that the cool dinosaurs died out, but that isn’t even true. For much of homo-history, birds looked like ‘mini’ T-Rex’s with beaks. Absolutely terrifying.
The giant ‘Terror Birds’ of just a few hundred thousand years ago are not a categorical departure from Tyrannosaurus and they were bigger than the…