If Dinosaurs Hadn’t Gone Extinct, How Would Our World Look? Read On

If dinosaurs didn't go extinct, what would our world look like?  continue reading

The biology of an animal restricts its evolutionary direction.

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid hit Earth with a force 10 billion atomic bombs and change the evolutionary process. The the sky darkens and plants stop photosynthesis. Plants die, then animals eat them. The food chain has collapsed. End 90% of all species disappear. When the dust settled, all the dinosaurs except a handful of birds has gone extinct.

But this catastrophic event made it possible for humanity to evolve. The surviving mammals flourished, including at least protozoa that will grow into us.

Imagine the asteroid slipped and the dinosaur survived. Imagine highly evolved raptors planting their flags on the moon. Dinosaurs, explore relativity or discuss a hypothetical world in which, hard to believe, mammals have taken over the Earth.

This may sound like bad science fiction, but it raises some profound philosophical questions about evolution. Was humanity here by chance, or was the evolution of intelligent tool users inevitable?

Our brains, tools, language, and large social groups make us the dominant species on the planet. There are 8 billion Homo sapiens on seven continents. By weight, yes more people than all wild animals.

we did modified half of the Earth’s area to feed ourselves. You could argue creatures like humans are bound to develop.

In the 1980s, paleontologist Dale Russel propose a thought experiment in which a Carnivorous dinosaurs evolve into intelligent tool users. This “dinosaur” had a large brain with opposite thumbs and walked upright.

It’s not impossible but it’s unlikely. The biology of an animal restricts its evolutionary direction. Your starting point limits your endpoints.

If you dropped out of college, you probably wouldn’t become a brain surgeon, lawyer, or Nasa rocket scientist. But you can be an artist, actor or businessman. The paths we take in life open some doors and close others. The same is true in evolution.

Consider the size of the dinosaur. Beginning in the Jurassic, sauropod dinosaurs, Brontosaurus and relatives evolve into a 30-50 ton giant up to 30 meters long – 10 times the weight of an elephant and as long as a blue whale. This happened in many groups, including diplomatic surnameBrachiosauridae, family Turiasauridae, Mamenchisaurids and Titanosauria.

This has happened on different continents, at different times and in different climates, from deserts to rainforests. But the other dinosaurs that lived in these environments didn’t become super giants.

The common thread linking these animals is that they are sauropods. Something about sauropod anatomy – lunghollow bones with a High strength-to-weight ratiometabolism or all these things – unlock their evolutionary potential. It allowed them to grow large in a way that no other terrestrial animal has before or since.

Likewise, carnivorous dinosaurs continuously evolved into giant predators, ten meters long, weighing tons. Over 100 million years, megalosaurids, allosaurid, carcharodontosaurids, new born and finally Tyrannosaurus Giant apex predators have evolved.

Dinosaurs did good big body. big brain Not much. Dinosaurs have shown a weak tendency towards increasing brain size over time. Jurassic dinosaur like allosaurus, Stegosaurus and Brachiosaurushave a small brain.

At the end of the Cretaceous period, 80 million years later, Tyrannosaurus and the platypus evolved larger brains. But despite its size, Tyrannosaurus The brain still weighs only 400 grams. One Velociraptor brain weighs 15 grams. The average human brain weighs 1.3 kg.

Dinosaurs have entered new niches over time. Small herbivores became more common and birds varied. Long-legged forms evolved later, suggesting an arms race between fast-legged predators and their prey.

Dinosaurs seem to have an increasingly complex social life. They began to live in herd and develop elaborate horns to fight and show. However, dinosaurs mostly seem to repeat themselves, evolving into giant herbivores and small-brained carnivores.

There is little about 100 million years of dinosaur history to suggest that they would have done anything entirely different had the asteroid not intervened. We may still have giant, long-necked herbivores and giant tyrannosaurs-like predators.

They may have developed slightly larger brains, but there is little evidence that they evolved into geniuses. It is unlikely that mammals will replace them. Dinosaurs monopolize their environment until the very end when the asteroid strikes.

Meanwhile, mammals have other limitations. They have never evolved into super-giant herbivores and carnivores. But they are constantly developing big brains. Giant brains (larger than our own) have evolved in orcas, sperm whales, baleen whales, elephants, leopard seals and apes.

Today, some of the descendants of dinosaurs – birds like crows and parrots – have complex brain. They can use tools, talk and count. But it was mammals like apes, elephants and dolphins that evolved with the largest brains and most complex behaviors.

So does eliminating dinosaurs guarantee that mammals will develop intelligence?

Well, probably not.

Starting points may limit endpoints, but they also don’t guarantee them. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg They all dropped out of college. But if dropping out automatically made you a billionaire, every college dropout would become rich. Even starting in the right place requires chance and luck.

The evolutionary history of primates shows that our evolution was inevitable. In Africa, primates evolved into great-brained apes and more than 7 million yearsmanufacturing modern people. But elsewhere, primate evolution followed very different paths.

When monkey to South America 35 million years ago they evolved into more apes. And primates have been to North America at least three different times, 55 million years ago, 50 million years agoand 20 million years ago. However, they did not evolve into a species that makes nuclear weapons and smartphones. Instead, for reasons we don’t understand, they have become extinct.

In Africa and Africa in particular, the evolution of primates has gone in a unique direction. Something about the fauna, flora or geography of Africa promote the evolution of apes: on land, large body, smart, use tools Primate. Even with the dinosaurs gone, our evolution still requires the right combination of chance and luck.Conversation

Nicholas R. LongrichSenior Lecturer in Paleontology and Evolutionary Biology, Bath University

This post was reposted from Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read original article.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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