Are Dinosaurs Still Alive?

The dinosaurs became extinct around 66 million years ago The most widely accepted explanation for their sudden demise is an extinction level event like a meteor hitting the Earth and affecting the global climate

The impact that killed the dinosaurs is believed to have made the Chicxulub crater in Central America – and it probably wiped out most of the dinosaurs within a few hours In the aftermath of the dinosaurs' mass extinction, mammals evolved to rule the Earth But pseudo-mythical stories of giant creatures in the unexplored parts of the world, have combined with recent scientific discoveries to raise the tantalising possibility that some dinosaurs might still be alive… There are many legendary and folkloric creatures that bear striking similarities to dinosaurs The Loch Ness Monster, for instance, has long been suspected of being a plesiosaur This is a long-necked marine animal that thrived during the Jurassic Period and vanished 66 million years ago

But its survival into modern times isn't entirely implausible A study published by the University of Antwerp showed that the extinction level event triggered by the Chicxulub meteor would have been survived by animals living underground or underwater The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that up to 95% of the world's oceans remain unexplored A 2011 study found that 91% of species in the oceans are unidentified; many recently confirmed creatures, like the colossal squid, have been enormous in size So, while several studies of Loch Ness have failed to find a living dinosaur in the Scottish lake, it's not impossible that plesiosaurs have survived somewhere in the seas

If land-based dinosaurs survived, there is one place on Earth that's likely to be their home: Africa The very hot climate of the Mesozoic Era wasn't too far off the temperatures of the African continent In the Congo, there are stories of the Mokele-Mbembe The Mokele-Mbembe has never been found, but it is remarkable that witness accounts of it have been so consistent in describing it as a sauropod-like creature that lives in the swamps Published reports of it date back to the 18th century and in 1980 and 1981 biologist Roy Mackal – who also conducted scientific searches for the Loch Ness monster – led two expeditions in search of it

He found no conclusive proof of it, but he did gather reports of other, interestingly dinosaur-like animals sighted in the region Of course, fossil evidence increasingly tells us that dinosaurs never died out completely From similar bone structures, to suggestions of interior air sacs and clear proof that some dinosaurs had feathers – it is now commonly accepted that birds are descended from dinosaurs In 2003 fragments of protein from a Tyrannosaurus Rex were found in a fossil and analysed The results proved it was more closely related to a chicken or an ostrich than an alligator or other reptiles

So even if large land or marine dinosaurs have not survived in the deep oceans or jungles of the world, their airborne cousins certainly made it quite far

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