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Did Dinosaurs Become Extinct or Just Shrink?

Updated on March 3, 2013


Dinosaur Skeleton
Dinosaur Skeleton

What Killed the Dinosaur?

For many years now, people have been trying to work out how the dinosaurs became extinct.

They still do not know for sure.

Was it some kind of Ice Age?

Was it an Asteroid?

Was it a Plague?

Komodo Skeleton
Komodo Skeleton


Todays Lizard
Todays Lizard

Examples of todays Lizards


There are many similarities between some of todays creatures and the Dinosaurs.

Is it possible, that given Dinosaurs were on this planet for an estimated 65 million years, that they may have evolved into smaller creatures?

If nature decided that these creatures were just too big and clumsy, wouldn't it follow that they would naturally evolve smaller?

I know that Elephants evolved from the Mamoth but have DNA of the large Dinosaures been tested against that of the small lizards?

Is it possible that evolution can be faster and more dynamic, than we so far calculate?

Perhaps there was not some drastic disaster that caused many creatures to suddenly disappear off the face of the Earth, merely a natural act of evolution.


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    • profile image

      Charles Weber 4 years ago

      The Cretaceous ocean predators were very large. I suspect that the productivity implied by this was caused by a flow of phosphorus toward the ocean from the savannas (seasonal rainfall areas) permitted by erosion of phosphorus rich runways of plant smothering termites in the Amitermitinae starting in late Jurassic in Australia where the first ocean phosphorite deposits occurred. Anoxic conditions in the oceans were also probably caused by this. This anoxic bottom condition probably helped reduce the ammonites also, in addition to competition from phosphorus enhanced vertebrates. The savanna herbivore dinosaurs declined in armor, teeth, and quite a bit in bony structure across the Cretaceous outside of South America, especially in southeast Asia. Many even lost teeth. I suggest it was due to this same phosphorus famine created by erosion of the soil of the runways of plant smothering termites. Pterosaurs and birds probably lost teeth primarily because of the young eating iron oxide and bauxite in the flying reproductive soil borne termites’ guts, which bound the phosphates. By the time the Cretaceous ended the world ended up with tiny savanna vertebrates, most of them mammals, which were able to give their young phosphorus in milk at that critical stage. They were a far cry from the massive, well boned Stegosaurs, etc., which roamed around the Jurassic, and had diminished tooth structure at first. They were a long time starting to increase in size (several million years).

      Sincerely, Charles Weber

      PS It is conceivable that you would also find interesting a hypothesis of my son explaining the Decca (or Deccan) lava flows as disruption of the crust by the disruption of the crust at the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) by a huge meteorite impact.

      Sincerely, Charles Weber

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      Isaac 5 years ago

      No Wooly Mammoths did not evolve into elephants and dinosaurs evolved into birds not lizards, however lizards did evolve into crocodiles and dinosaurs.

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      lulu 5 years ago

      yep, it's a possibility as far as I'm concerned...because if an asteroid hit the Earth that was about a billion times more powerful than Nagasaki and Hiroshima, wouldn't smaller mammals either die as well or suffer from radiation poisoning...and how long would the radiation take to decay in the soil? Once science accepts a theory, it's a done deal until some upstart starts chipping away at the stony supposition and sets the scientific world on its ear.

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      Ukehmin 5 years ago

      I think who ever created this site has a good imagination ! Regards Ukehmin.

    • ChrisIndellicati profile image

      ChrisIndellicati 6 years ago from New York, NY

      No. Dinosaurs evolved from archosaurs, witch evolved from lizards. Many specialized dinosaurs died out because they're environment changed so drastically. In the cretaceous period there were volcanoes erupting all over the world, the earth was hit by asteroids twice, and the continents were drifting further apart. The huge dinosaurs as well as other mega-fauna couldn't cope and died out. Smaller dinosaurs, mammals, and lizards survived. There were birds by the end of the cretaceous too. These were the direct descendants of the dinosaurs not today's lizards.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oops, sorry. Obviously I'm no expert :) Can't even get the terminology right!

    • Al Blondin profile image

      Al Blondin 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA

      BTW, the science is actually called paleontology, not archaeology. Archaeology deals with the study of human history through discovered artifacts while paleontologists study the fossil records.

      All the evidence gathered so far suggest that the most likely cause was a severe cooling of the planet. Dinosaurs, being very large and cold blooded surface dwellers, suffered the worst fate while hot blooded mammals benefited from their physiological advantage. That's my two cents anyways...

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Interesting. I don't think this theory is right, but it's still an interesting one to consider. I had thought that I'd read in high school that there was plenty of archaeology to suggest that the dinosaurs did just rather suddenly disappear. I'll have to reread some of that stuff - not read it for years.

      I guess archaeology only tells you about the things that you've found - just because you haven't found it yet, doesn't mean it's not there. There could be any number of missing links lying buried all over the world.


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      aaa 7 years ago


      Check basic evolution texts. Dinosaurs did not re-evolve into lizards. The work has been done. That's not a ground breaking thought

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It's been awhile since college but what I recall I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Evolution works by both gradual adaptation and mutations. There could have been several varieties of lizards and those that best adapted to teh environement survived.

    • rafken profile image

      rafken 7 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      drbj That is true, just a thought. Thanks for reading

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Interesting supposition, rafken, but no proof . . . yet!