A while back researchers located some dinosaur burrows in Montana. Of course, this proved that dinosaurs exhibited a burrowing behavior when the need arose. Just recently, further burrows were discovered in Victoria, Australia. The important thing to take away from this is that it shows a similar survival behavior from different species from different hemispheres. 110 million years ago, the Earth was a warmer place, but when Australia used to be situated at the south pole, it still got pretty cold in the winter. And apparently this was how they kept warm.
They were small dinosaurs, which makes sense. Comical as the image of a T-Rex burrowing into the soft sand of a riverbank is, it probably didn’t work that way.
The above cartoon is, as usual, my way of trying to be funny. Whether it’s successful or not, is not my call, but what I like is the idea that dinosaurs might compare survival adaptations, defenses, weaponry, in a civilized tone. It’s an anthropomorphism, which is the main point here. A similar discussion most certainly did occur between dinosaurs, but it probably would have been much more violent and probably involved the T-Rex trying to eat the Triceratops (though there is some debate over whether T-Rex was a hunter or a scavenger or both).
The thing is humans have three or so key survival adaptations: opposable thumbs, upright stature, gigantic brain. Each of these things is a tremendous liability in other ways, however. For instance, our upright stature makes us slow runners. Our huge brains mean our head are big which makes human childbirth a harrowing and very dangerous activity.
So basically, when one is trying to make the argument that humans are the pinnacle, the zenith, the ultimate, in biological evolution (or creation), they have to acknowledge the fact that humans have problems. We really have no natural weaponry, no defense against cold, our immune systems suck, we’re not strong, fast, or agile. All we have is our brains and our ability to use tools.
Dinosaurs were the most successful animals to ever walk the planet. They lived for millions of years. Bipedal man has been here for about five hundred thousand years and homo sapiens for only about a hundred thousand. We have a long way to go before we are even in the same league as dinosaurs. If anything insects (cockroaches, for instance) are the most successful animals currently creeping across this world. Crocodiles, sharks, and other similar species are far older than humans. Turtles live longer.
I mean, if your standard is simply “ability to survive,” then humans suck. We have a very high opinion of ourselves and it’s utterly undeserved. That’s the funny thing.
Again, this is from a survival-ability standpoint. Obviously we’ve made more art. We have language. We have “civilization,” whatever that means. And I think a pat on the back is well deserved. Maybe a polite, quiet round of applause.
Good work people. Keep it up for a few million more years and we’ll really be something. Just don’t screw it up in the meantime, alright?