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Dinosaurs Evolved

July 11, 2006

In Jurassic Park, scientists ressurected dinosaurs from ancient DNA. But where did the dinosaurs that actually walked the Earth come from?


The humble origin of dinosaurs. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Recently, we got this call from listener Megan Salazar:

I live in Escondido, California, and I was wondering: How did dinosaurs get on Earth?

Well, Megan, paleontologist Jerry Harris of Dixie State College in Utah says that dinos got here the same way we and all living things did—they evolved.

JERRY HARRIS (Dixie State College, Utah):
Dinosaurs evolved from reptiles that were not dinosaurs that were around earlier. And these include little tiny, maybe crow-sized things that probably looked like giant kangaroo rats—very long limbs, running around snapping up insects and trying not to get eaten by their bigger cousins.

A modest origin for creatures that would come to rule the Earth. If you have a science question, call us at 1-800-why-isit. If we use it on the air, you’ll win a Science Update mug. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.