Will dinosaurs re-evolve in the future? A paleontologist explains

Dinosaurs are still with us in the form of birds. But the most canonical dinosaurs, such as can Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops And Stegosaurus, will re-evolve, if climate and temperature revert to Cretaceous conditions? Probably not.

While this is a fun thought experiment, we cannot predict what the future will bring. Evolution depends on coincidence, luck and chance. Natural selection cannot plan ahead; It occurs at the moment when organisms adapt to immediate challenges.

As the late and great American paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould put it: What would happen if the tapestry of life were played back to some remote period? When we reach the present, will the world be as it is now? He argued that it would be different, perhaps more so.

Nothing in evolution is inevitable and little random quirks set life on unpredictable paths, every time the tape is rewinded and replayed.


The more we study the fossil record, the more we realize extinction is forever. Once a species or a group dies out, it never comes back. Take trilobites, for example. Climates today are similar to times when the oceans flourished, but trilobites have not returned.

So something similar For dinosaurs, could they evolve? It is possible.

Convergence is a powerful force in evolution: When different species encounter the same climatic and environmental factors, they often develop similar features to adapt to their surroundings. For example, both dinosaurs (birds) and mammals (bats) developed wings to fly freely.

If Earth enters a Cretaceous-like climate, Tyrannosaurus And Triceratops Certainly not regenerating, but other large, lumbering, majestic reptiles.

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This article (asked by Heather Warren via e-mail) is 'If Earth's Conditions Change, Could Dinosaurs Re-Evolve? Will life find a way?'

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