DINOSAURS lived on Earth about 66 million years ago before they became extinct for a reason which is yet to be discovered.
You might be wondering whether there are animals that descended from dinosaurs, such as crocodiles, and here we answer questions which you might have.
Are crocodiles dinosaurs?
Even though they have a similar appearance, no, crocodiles are not dinosaurs but they do come from the same crown group called Archosaurs.
Archosaurs are reptiles such as birds, crocodiles, pterosaurs and dinosaurs.
The only other archosaurs besides crocodiles that survived throughout the years are birds.
Crocodiles are the evolution of reptiles which grew up to be dinosaurs.
They share some characteristics such as being cold-blooded and having a large body with thick rubbery skin.
They both also have sharp teeth and can lay eggs.
How old are crocodiles?
Crocodiles are about 85 million years old, dating back to the Triassic period.
They make part of a group of animals called crocodylomorphs which lived about 205 million years ago with dinosaurs.
Which animals descend from dinosaurs?
Crocodiles are not the only animals that come from dinosaurs.
Cassowaries, ostriches and chickens
The third largest bird species, cassowaries, are also descendants of dinosaurs and they can be found in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Besides its big structure and giant claw-like feet, one of the characteristics that makes it similar to a dinosaur is its leathery crest on the head.
This may come as a surprise but chickens are related to dinosaurs.
It was revealed how a T-rex shares fundamental molecular structures that are in common with chickens.
The same goes for ostriches.
These three animals share a molecule called protein collagen that takes form in different animals, but the one that compares mostly to that found in the T-rex is that of chickens and ostriches.
The discovery was made by Jack Horner and Mary Schweitzer in 2003 when they were trying to extract a fossilised T-rex femur and had to break the bone in half to do so.
Tuataras and lizards
Tuatara is another animal, from a reptile group called Rhynchocephalia, that originates from dinosaurs.
They live off the coast of New Zealand and eat beetles, spiders and snails and occasionally small birds which they can chew up with their teeth that look like a saw.
It lives in very low temperatures and can have a life span of up to 100 years.
The other reptiles are lizards, which evolved millions of years ago sharing several characteristics with dinosaurs.
Sharks and sea turtles
The marine beasts are thought to have evolved over 450 million years ago during the Silurian period.
They’ve survived through every major extinction and are one of the most diverse species out there.
On the other hand, sea turtles – which adapted to leave both on the ground and in seawater – share a common ancestory with dinosaurs.
After the catastrophe that wiped out dinosaurs, turtles started evolving differently, and that is how the hard shells were eventually created.
Source: The Sun