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Avisapiens saurotheos
October 30, 2012 1:00 PM   Subscribe

"Pretty much everyone interested in dinosaurs, in the history of life, or in such matters as the evolution of intelligence and/or brain size, will be familiar with the various speculations on ‘humanoid dinosaurs’ that have made their way into the literature." - Tetrapod Zoology on Dinosauroids

See also:
posted by brundlefly (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
See also, The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution. A gorgeous book that was a big part of my childhood.
posted by brundlefly at 1:01 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is certainly possible that we could find remnants from a previous Earth spacefaring civilization on the moon or other stable body (like Ceres, perhaps). If a species of dinosaur had developed a technological civilization in the last 10,000 years before the giant asteroid hit, we'd have no way to tell from the fossil record.

I would expect that idea to appear more in science fiction, but Doctor Who seems to have a monopoly on it. Evidence of a sauroid conspiracy? You be the judge!
posted by BeeDo at 1:17 PM on October 30, 2012


Don't forget the Super Mario Bros. movie! Although instead of the dinosaurs being spacefaring, they were sucked into an alternate dimension when the asteroid hit.
posted by brundlefly at 1:21 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or the West of Eden series by Harry Harrison.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:24 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is certainly possible that we could find remnants from a previous Earth spacefaring civilization on the moon or other stable body (like Ceres, perhaps). If a species of dinosaur had developed a technological civilization in the last 10,000 years before the giant asteroid hit, we'd have no way to tell from the fossil record.

Related.
posted by curious nu at 1:37 PM on October 30, 2012


Silurians?
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:05 PM on October 30, 2012


Or the West of Eden series by Harry Harrison.

At 15, learned everything I never wanted to know about having sex with reptiles.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:00 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


something something dinotopia
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:41 PM on October 30, 2012


BeeDo: Doctor Who seems to have a monopoly on it.
brundlefly: Don't forget the Super Mario Bros. movie!
Confess, Fletch: Or the West of Eden series by Harry Harrison.

Or "Distant Origin" (ST:VOY 3x23).

Or V.
posted by stebulus at 3:44 PM on October 30, 2012


At 15, learned everything I never wanted to know about having sex with reptiles.

15 is definitely the age for that.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:46 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, then there's "Think Like a Dinosaur," a short story by James P. Kelly, wherein no good deed goes unpunished.

I won't spoil it for you.
posted by mule98J at 5:17 PM on October 30, 2012


The Sleestaks were pretty goddamn creepy
posted by KokuRyu at 7:14 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


If a species of dinosaur had developed a technological civilization in the last 10,000 years before the giant asteroid hit, we'd have no way to tell from the fossil record.

I would expect that idea to appear more in science fiction


Would you settle for aliens spiriting the dinosaurs away to another planet so that they've had time for their descendents to have evolved intelligence by now?
posted by straight at 7:22 PM on October 30, 2012


Interesting theory. Here's another site I found.

I remember hearing, decades ago, about a Berkeley professor who told his students about a dinosaur population which formed communities and had tools, even spears.

"Actually there is no evidence of this," he told his disbelieving students. "But the record of the dinosaurs is so small that they could easily have existed and there would be no record of it in all our excavations and discoveries."

He used his speculation as a lesson to his students about how little information we actually have about dinosaurs.

So, maybe....
posted by eye of newt at 10:06 PM on October 30, 2012


Human civilization is leaving behind a very noticeable fossil record in that we've driven a huge amount of other species to extinction and are now leaving behind a lot of novel chemicals for Earth's Most Outstanding Deposition Layer.

Come to think of it, maybe all that iridium didn't come from an asteroid...
posted by eurypteris at 12:04 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coal and oil came from the Carboniferous Period. If they achieved advanced civilization, they did it without sucking the planet dry of fossil fuels, or even putting much of a dent in them. So they either grew biofuel, or developed some other undetectable power source.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:58 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


So they either grew biofuel, or developed some other undetectable power source.

Or didn't have an Industrial Revolution. We've only been "sucking the planet dry" for about 100 years. I doubt the coal used before 1900 was geologically detectable.
posted by DU at 6:14 AM on October 31, 2012


Even before industrialisation, civilization caused immense changes to global systems: extinctions galore, soil erosion, depletion of metals from near-surface geology. Imagine that Roman/Ming style civilization held on for a few millennia; would that have categorically less impact on the planet than a century of our fossil-fuelled experiment? Is there some iridium-dense, high energy fuel we never had access to because the dinosaurids used it all up?
posted by eurypteris at 6:20 AM on October 31, 2012


OR DO THEY WALK AMONGST US STILL?!!?

(ahem, /sarc)
posted by eurypteris at 6:21 AM on October 31, 2012


Even before industrialisation, civilization caused immense changes to global systems: extinctions galore, soil erosion, depletion of metals from near-surface geology.

Not in geologically detectable amounts (except for the extinction), especially after a meteor strike. (This is on the "they had civilization right at the end, then got hit by an asteroid" theory mentioned upthread.)

There would be very, very little missing metal (at a guess, less metal in human use across the entire human world pre-1500 than in just New York today) and what was missing would be extremely near the surface. Deep mining was a difficult proposition in the days before steam-powered pumps. The Newcomen engine was about 300 years ago
posted by DU at 7:05 AM on October 31, 2012


Not in geologically detectable amounts (except for the extinction), especially after a meteor strike.

Boy was that unclear. I mean that the soil erosion and metal depletion would not be detectable later (certainly not as civilization artifacts). The extinction would be noticed later, except it would be attributed to the asteroid. Even happening over the course of 10,000 years as our megafauna extinction did, it's all too close together in time after a span of eons.
posted by DU at 7:19 AM on October 31, 2012


OR DO THEY WALK AMONGST US STILL?!!?

The dinosaurs didn't go completely extinct when the asteroids hit 65 million years ago. Today, every ten thousandth person in the country is a dinosaur, evolved to be human-sized, wearing sophisticated solid-light holographic disguises to maintain the facade, getting stoned off regular cooking herbs like basil, rosemary and tarragon, and living by their own shadow government's laws; any human who stumbles upon them is to be immediately executed. Two dino private investigators, velociraptor Vincent Rubio and triceratops Ernie Watson, are hired by one of Ernie's old girlfriends to find out why her younger brother committed suicide, and discover a dino cult called Voice Of Progress that wants dinokind to come out of the closet and reclaim the planet.
posted by curious nu at 7:32 AM on October 31, 2012


I'm honestly surprised this hasn't spawned any major hoaxes. Maybe because it's so well publicized as a what-if scenario?
posted by happyroach at 8:33 AM on October 31, 2012


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