• Question: Was there life before dinosaurs on planet Earth?

    Asked by elmo97 to AndrewL, Andrew, Marianne on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Andrew Leitch

      Andrew Leitch answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Yes elmo, I think you’ve got stuck in question mode. I’m sure you knew the answer to this one. We’ve talked a lot about the origins of life and evolution. At what point you call something ‘life’ is difficult but is probably related to the arrival of DNA/RNA and the first cells. Dinosaurs had to evolve from the cellular level. I guess they were around about 230 million years agow whereas life probs originated over 3 billion years ago…

    • Photo: Andrew Maynard

      Andrew Maynard answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Hi elmo97,

      Yes. The dinosaurs actually came along quite late in the day – before them you had single cell organisms, a huge variety of sea creatures, insects, amphibians, and early reptiles that dinosaurs evolved from.

    • Photo: Marianne Baker

      Marianne Baker answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      My favourite way of seeing this is with the ‘Earth hour’ – all of Earth’s 4-and-a-bit billion years summed up in just 24 hours
      e.g. http://dml.cmnh.org/2005Apr/msg00410.html

      So as you can see there,
      Life on Earth 4:10am (the most basic cell forms)
      Reptiles (from which came dinosaurs) 22:13pm (a LONG time later!!!!)