Only 64 Million Years To Go

When I was a kid, I loved dinosaurs.  I know that hardly distinguishes me from tens of millions of children that were fascinated by them.  I had books and little plastic ones that I would make “fight”.  Grrrr.  Arrrggh.  Good stuff.

And, of course, I loved dinosaurs in books and movies and on TV.  I was drawn to movies in which people were brought in contact with dinosaurs that had managed to survive until today – “The Lost World” “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, “King Kong”, even the old cult classic Saturday morning TV show “Land of the Lost”*.  
As an ingredient in an adventure story, dinosaurs are a great plot device.  The unfortunate aspect is that you have about 65,000,000 years of disbelief to suspend since the fossil record indicates that dinos died out at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

Well, it was with a little glee that I saw an abstract from Palaeontologia Electronica that purports to show new (and pretty controversial from what I gather) fossil evidence from a remote area of Northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that indicates the survival of hadrosaurs (at least a couple of them) for a half-million to million years after the Cretaceous Extinction Event.
Okay… okay.  I know, even if these guys are right, there’s still no way that dinosaurs and humans could have ever co-existed.  But a kid can still dream, right?
*Of course, in “Jurassic Park”, we brought the dinosaurs to us – which, well, seemed like a good idea at the time…

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14 thoughts on “Only 64 Million Years To Go

  1. It isn't just New Mexico and Colorado; they also have evidence from near the impact crater itself. While only an idiot would argue that Chixulub didn't happen and wasn't an immense disaster, it never has truly explained the survival of crocodiles and turtles (two species that should have been wiped out before the dinosaurs were). Me, I'm a fan of the "camel's back" theory. First, there was the change in climate due to plate tectonics. Then there was the impact and the Deccan traps. Then there was the introduction of new disease vectors by the change in climate. And then there was the rise of the flowering plants, driving out the main food supply for many dinosaurs. Add it all up and it is a pretty bad million years!John

  2. I love the episode of Friends when Ross and Rachel are fighting and Rachel says "Jurassic Park could happen!" And Ross is personally offended.

  3. The original LotL started in 1974 — which I think was way before your time? Yes, but there was a craptastic "re-imagining" of the show in 1991. And now we have the movie to look forward to! (yeah.)John

  4. There are some interesting carvings from ancient civilizations (France, Central America, Mexico) that are so obviously dinosaurs it begs the question "how did they know?" Were they depictions created from oral history? Or strictly imaginary? One of the many things we'll probably never truly know. And my own little dino-obsessed child will be thrilled to know that if any dinosaur did survive longer than the rest, that it was a hadrosaur, her favorite kind! :-)

  5. Corissa — if you want to see some great (and by great I mean schlocky but sort of wonderfully bad) kids' TV, check out an episode or two of the 70s version. I bet it will be on TV Land or something since the movie re-make is coming out this summer.

  6. I also love the hadrosaur, because the first bones in the US were found in Haddonfield, NJ — not too far from where I grew up. There is a hadrosaur statue right where the fossils were originally discovered… :)

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