It is astounding that dinosaurs lived on this planet for approximately 248 to 65 million years ago. It is logical to think that some of today’s animals that remains on earth made it through the extinction of the dinosaurs but which of today’s animals lived alongside dinosaurs? Some believe there are many while other theorizes that there are none. Scientist give us enough proof that animals did make it through and even though their ancesters are long gone their are some of the species that are still on this planet.
Birds and reptiles
The earliest bird fossils that were found dated back one hundred and fifty million years ago and resembled a reptile in many respects. This certainly proves that birds did live among dinosaurs as the last of the dinosaurs died out just 65 million years ago. The fossil belonged to the genus of the group called Archaeopteryx. It had feathers like those of modern birds. The first fossil of this kind was found around 1860. There have been a total of seven fossils found; six of these had partial skeletons and a single feather. Six of these fossils were found in limestone beds in south Germany. The best specie that is preserved shows not only the imprint of almost all the skeleton but also flight feathers and the wings and tail.
In Germany, in 1988, in a private collection, scientist found an Archaeopteryx which had been mistaken for a small theropod dinosaur. Archaeopteryx had teeth, a long body, a reptile like tail and three claws on each wing. In 1992 scientist found enantiornithines (which means opposite birds) that came after the Archaeopteryx. These enantiornithines had evolved many of the characteristics of modern flying birds such as long tail feathers but they also had teeth.
The next well preserved fossil dates back to 90 million years ago which includes the Hesperomis and the Ichthyornis. Both of these species were water birds that use to live in what is now called the Midwestern United States. Both species most certainly ate fish and had teeth but at that time the sea covered most of the region. It is thought that the Hesperomis was a flightless bird that could dive to great depths and looked like a grebe or a loon, but much larger, where the Ichthyomis could fly and resembled what we know today as a tern or gull. With all of these fossils to back up the theory it is certain that birds have lived alongside the dinosaurs they certainly flew above them or swam in waters which are enough proof to know that our birds today may be sub-species of a bird like reptile.
Fish pre-date dinosaurs by several million years. They were called Ostracoderms and first appeared on earth 500 million years ago. Again they swam in the waters during the dinosaur period so therefore we can know they lived alongside of the dinosaurs. They were not only the first fish but the first animal to have a back bone. The Age of the fish is called the Devonian Period that began approximately 410 million years ago so it is a good assumption that they swam in the waters. This was a period when fish developed remarkably well. Today we can look to the Coelacanth for definite proof that fish did live throughout the dinosaur period. The early bony fish appeared early in the Devonian Period. These bony fish belonged to two main groups which were the Sarcopterygians and the Actinopterygians.
Today the only fish that are the only surviving sarcopterygians on earth today are the lung fish and the Coelacanth but the lung fish are the nearest living relative of the land vertebrates. The paddlefish and sturgeons are the only surviving chondrosteans and most scientists believe the bichirs are the nearest relatives. Then there are the sharks that appeared during the Devonian Period and look much like the sharks that swim in our oceans today. All soft jawed fish nearly died out over the period but the exception would be the sub-species of lampreys and hagfish that swim in our oceans today. It was their ancestors that lived with the dinosaurs.
Scientist that study prehistoric life says the oldest fossils found of amphibians date back to the end of the Devonian Period. This was about 360 million years ago. There were many more different kinds of amphibians then as it is today. They were the most important vertebrae’s on land during the Carboniferous Period. The modern amphibians didn’t appear until the Mesozoic Era from 248 to 65 million years ago. By this time the other amphibians had died out. It is known that the Crocodiles and retiles we see today so the ancestors of these reptiles certainly did live with the dinosaurs. Their resemblance is uncanny.
There are many more sub-species on earth today that evolved from the age of the dinosaurs such as the cockroach that is estimated to live on even if mankind was eliminated from this earth. If this insect has such a vivacious hold on life who says it didn’t live with the dinosaurs although it was probably a whole lot bigger than today’s cockroach. Then there are rats, mice and shrews that could easily hide in the ground during the extinction of dinosaurs. Insects that fly in the air are claimed a sub-species of earlier insects. There is a wealth of information pointing to the animals that did live alongside dinosaurs, too much for us to turn a blind eye and conclude that none of these survived over the years.