If the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct, could they have developed a civilised society? © Dan Bright

If the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct, could they have developed a civilised society?

Most dinosaurs were thriving and pretty smart before being wiped out, so theoretically, given time, they may have evolved in the same way primates did.

Asked by: Henry Sykes, via email

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The asteroid strike that killed off all dinosaurs (except for birds) took place 66 million years ago. We know that many species of dinosaur were still thriving at that time. These included small, fast, deadly ‘raptors’ such as Velociraptor, which had big brains and keen senses, and were probably as smart as dogs and cats are today.

If they didn’t die, but instead kept evolving, they may have developed even bigger brains and keener senses. And given millions of years of evolution, perhaps they would have taken the path of primates, eventually developing tool use, sophisticated communication, and even complex societies. We’ll never know, but it’s theoretically possible!

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