How Would Our World Look If Dinosaurs Had Not Become Extinct? Read more

Scientists from the Dinosaur family are investigating relativity and exploring a fictional world in which mammals took over the Earth .

An asteroid struck the Earth with the force of ten billion atomic bombs about 60 million years ago and changed the course of evolution.The skies darkened and plants stopped photosynthesising.The plants died, then the animals that ate on them.The food chain collapsed.

After the dust settled, all dinosaurs except a handful of birds had disappeared.At this crucial moment, human evolution was made possible.The remaining mammals flourished, including little proto-primates that would evolve into us.Consider that the asteroid had fallen off, and dinosaurs thrived.Consider such organisms as raptors, who are highly evolved, waving their flag on the moon.

Is evolution of intelligent tool-users inevitable, or is it just a coincidence?Brains, machines, accents, and major social groups make us the planet's dominant species.On seven continents, there are 8 billion people.There are more humans than any other animal on Earth, according to weight.We have modified half of the earth's land to feed ourselves.You could argue that creatures like humans were going to grow.

This dinosauroid was big-brained with opposable thumbs and walked upright.It was not impossible, but it is possible.Your starting point will eliminate your endpoints.You could not be a brain surgeon, doctor, or Nasa rocket scientist until you graduate from college.You may be an artist, musician, or entrepreneur.

Thats also true in evolution.Consider the size of dinosaurs.Sauropod dinosaurs and their descendants evolved into 30-50 tonne giants up to 30 meters long, ten times the weight of an elephant and as long as a blue whale, beginning in the Jurassic period.This occurred in many groups, including Diplodocidae, Brachiosauridae, Turiasauridae, Mamenchisauridae, and Titanosauria.This occurred on different continents, at different times, in different climates, from deserts to rainforests.

The common thread between the two animals was that they were sauropods.Something about sauropod anatomy, lungs, hollow bones with a high strength-to-weight ratio, metabolism, or all of these things opened their evolutionary potential.They were able to become large in ways that no terrestrial animals had ever had or have since.Also, the carnivorous dinosaurs evolved enormous, ten-meter, multi-tonne predators.

Not so great of us.Dinosaurs did have a marginal trend toward a jump in brain size over time, as shown by the graph below.Jurassic dinosaurs like, and had small brains.By the late Cretaceous, 80 million years ago, tyrannosaurs and duckbills had developed larger brains.

A brain weighs 15 grams.The average human brain weighs 1.3 kilograms.Eventually, dinosaurs discovered new applications.Small herbivores became more common, and birds diversified.

Dinosaurs seem to have had more intimate social lives.They came to live in herds and developed elaborate horns for combat and display.Nonetheless, dinosaurs seem to repeat themselves, evolving into giant herbivores and carnivores with small brains.There isn't much about 100 million years of dinosaur history to suggest that they would have done something entirely different if the asteroid hadn't intervened.We'd most likely still have those supergiant, long-necked herbivores and massive tyrannosaur-like prey, but there's no way they'd have evolved into geniuses.

When the asteroid struck, dinosaurs monopolized their habitats until they disappeared.Mammals, on the other hand, were given different rights.Supergiant herbivores and carnivores have never existed.But they also developed big brains.Orcas, sperm whales, baleen whales, elephants, leopard seals, and apes also have large brains (as large or larger than ours).

They can use computers, talk, and count.But it was mammals like apes, elephants, and dolphins that developed the most sophisticated brains and brains.So did eliminating the dinosaurs guarantee mammals would develop intelligence?No, not at all.Endpoints may reduce accuracy, but not necessarily so.Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all left college.

Even if you start in the right place, you require opportunities and luck.Our evolution was nothing but natural, according to the evolutionary history of primates.Primates did grow into big-brained apes in Africa and produced modern humans in Africa over the course of 7 million years.However, primate evolution took very different forms elsewhere.

Primates reached North America at least three distinct times: 55 million years ago, 50 million years ago, and 20 million years ago.Yet they didnt evolve into a species that made nuclear bombs and smartphones.Instead, they went extinct for reasons we do not comprehend.Primate evolution took a different course in Africa, and Africa alone.

Our evolution needed the right combination of opportunity and luck even after the dinosaurs are gone.Nicholas R. Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Paleontology and Evolutionary Biology, Inc.This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons attribution.Read the original article for more information.