It is no secret of how scientists are hard at work researching ways to clone the actual dinosaurs. But the fact of the matter remains that without access to dinosaur DNA the idea of having real dinosaurs roam the earth once more is close to impossible. Even if we were successful in cloning them, would they survive our climate?
Since the extinction of the dinosaurs, the atmosphere has significantly changed. Due to differences in oxygen levels from when they roamed the earth, they would run out of breath trying to catch us.
Will Dinosaurs Survive Living in the Modern World?
According to scientists, today’s climate is colder than the time dinosaurs existed. The temperature then didn’t vary, remaining in a constant environment regardless of what part of the world you were in. Even the temperature of bodies of water was a lot warmer than what we know of right now. And at that time, the earth was pretty much covered with rainforests.
Since the climate was warmer before and the earth was covered with rainforests, the oxygen saturation could have been denser as well. Studies show that the oxygen percentage during the Jurassic period was up to 35%, significantly higher than today’s 21%.
Dinosaurs were used to higher concentrations of oxygen in the atmosphere. They would have found it challenging to thrive in today’s world. Since the air today is thinner than it was, dinosaurs would find themselves out of breath most of the time.
If the dinosaurs somehow adapted to today’s oxygen saturation, the next challenge would be food. The massive demand for food of both carnivore and herbivore dinosaurs might be a challenge if they continue to live until today. (Source: Science Focus)
While carnivores might get used to the available meat nowadays, such as cows, pigs, and other smaller animals, the herbivores may not survive anymore. Today’s geography is no longer covered with abundant plant life. And as the temperature cooled down, plants evolved, making them less nutritious and possibly even poisonous to the plant-eating dinosaurs.
Given these two significant changes in the modern world, it may entirely be impossible for dinosaurs to survive today. (Source: BBC)
Theories on the Dinosaurs’ Survival
Dinosaur researchers have hypothesized different theories on the question of whether dinosaurs can survive in today’s world. Researchers Tom Hultz from the University of Maryland and Stephen Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh argue, based on their research, that dinosaurs were able to adapt to the changing times.
Based on their research, the two men hypothesized that dinosaurs have evolved to adapt to the Cretaceous age, theorizing that it was a sign of evolutionary potential. Brusatte further states that small, feathered dinosaurs might have had to adapt and change their diet, making fruits that were developing at the age their primary diet.
Another theory to support that dinosaurs could have evolved to adapt to the changing world came from Victoria Arbour of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. Arbour, an armored dinosaur expert, states that dinosaurs would have developed to become wooly creatures. They would have adapted to the ice age by growing some protection against the cold.
An even earlier theory came from Dale Russell. Russell, part of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, published a paper in 1982. He proposed that an intelligent dinosauroid might one day evolve. His proposal looked at the carnivorous dinosaur Troodon as the intelligent dinosaurs’ predecessor as the Trodoon had an enormous brain. (Source: BBC)