The earth has a long life history of 4 billion years. In such a long time, countless kinds of creatures have appeared. The survival of life is inseparable from the cooperation of the ecological environment. If the ecological environment undergoes great changes, a large number of organisms will become extinct.
The earth’s ecological environment is not immutable, but a major change occurs every 150 million years or so, so there will be a mass extinction of organisms. This is a normal law of the evolution of the earth’s ecology, but if this great change in nature does not arrive, some accidents will also cause drastic changes in the earth’s ecology, which will trigger a mass extinction.
The representative of this is the 65 million-year extinction of dinosaurs. I believe many friends know that before the birth of mankind, a glorious era of dinosaurs appeared on the earth. At that time, more than 80% of the species on the earth belonged to dinosaurs, and they were the true overlords of the earth, and dinosaurs had dominated the earth for 160 million years.
But such a glorious era of dinosaurs was extinct because of an accident. This accident was 65 million years ago when an asteroid with a diameter of more than 10 kilometers accidentally hit the earth. This accidental impact brought a major blow to the ecology of the earth and triggered the fifth mass extinction. The dinosaurs became extinct in this catastrophe and the age of dinosaurs ended.
Many people regret the extinction of dinosaurs, and they often think: It would be great if dinosaurs can continue to the present, and we can see this huge creature. But if we think about it carefully, you will understand that if dinosaurs continue to the present, can humans still appear?
Some friends once asked the question: If the dinosaurs were not extinct, would humans still appear? Many people may think that the evolution of human ancestors to wisdom is a natural law and unstoppable. It has nothing to do with whether the dinosaurs will become extinct. Is this really true? Below we will carry out some simple analysis and thinking.
First of all, we must understand a basic natural law of biological survival: things compete against the sky and the fittest survive. No matter what kind of creature it is, it needs to follow this basic natural law. Humans are mammals, and mammals were born very early, about in the Triassic period. Dinosaurs already existed during this period and were the overlords of the earth. In other words, the ancestors of mammals actually lived in the same era as dinosaurs.
In the era of dinosaurs dominated by dinosaurs, more than 80% of the species on the earth belonged to dinosaurs, and the proportion of mammals was very small at that time. If mammals have greater physical power than dinosaurs, even if their numbers are very small, they can compete with dinosaurs for the supremacy of the earth. It is a pity that most of the mammals are relatively small, and even a few larger ones are far from comparable to the size of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Therefore, the mammals at that time were at the bottom of the biological chain. They either hibernated in caves or lived in seclusion underground, and some lived on trees. Our ancient ancestors were mammals that lived on trees.
In this era when dinosaurs dominate the earth, mammals dare not come out easily. How can they rise and evolve rapidly? Obviously it is unlikely. Dinosaurs have dominated the earth for 160 million years, and mammals have no chance of rising, let alone evolving toward intelligent evolution.
Without the impact of asteroids, the dinosaurs would not have become extinct 65 million years ago, and would have survived for a longer period of time. Maybe someone will ask? Wouldn’t the dinosaurs be extinct without an asteroid impact? of course not. As we said earlier, every 150 million years or so, there will be a major change in the ecology of the earth. The most obvious one is the arrival of the Great Ice Age.
The ice age has a great impact on the survival of organisms, especially the great ice age lasts for a long time, and the temperature of the earth drops very sharply. Once the temperature drops sharply, the plants will be the first to be affected. Plants will become extinct on a large scale, and the number of plants will be reduced.
The herbivorous dinosaurs are extinct, and the carnivorous dinosaurs will also continue to extinct without food. It should be understood that the larger the creatures, the more food they need and the poorer ability to adapt to the environment. Therefore, once the Great Ice Age arrives, there is a high probability that dinosaurs will become extinct, ending the dinosaur age.
Then without asteroids hitting the earth, when will the Great Ice Age of 150 million years come? This time was about millions of years ago, and according to the geological research of scientists, tens of millions of years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, the Earth did usher in the Great Ice Age again.
This shows that even if there were no asteroids hitting the earth 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs were not extinct, and if they continued, the birth of mankind on the earth might become a reality. But if this is the case, the time when humans appeared may last a very long time, and would not appear 2 million years ago. It is possible that human beings are still in the state of apes, competing for food with other mammals, and have not evolved wisdom.
It will take millions of years for human beings to initially evolve wisdom, and then develop into civilization step by step, and into the current era of science and technology. In other words, if there is no asteroid hitting the earth to exterminate the dinosaurs, the current earth may still be in the primitive age. Without intelligent creatures, the glorious human civilization may only exist in millions of years.
The above situation is still a relatively ideal state. In fact, even if the Great Ice Age arrives, it may not necessarily be able to wipe out all the dinosaurs. The power of the Great Ice Age is still inferior to the disaster caused by an asteroid with a diameter of more than 10 kilometers hitting the wall of the earth. Therefore, those small dinosaurs in the dinosaur family may survive the ice age.
If so, after the ice age has passed, there will still be small dinosaurs on the earth. Although they cannot completely suppress the rise of mammals, they can delay the evolution of mammals. Human ancestors who have not yet born wisdom need to face the challenge of dinosaurs, which will undoubtedly add many variables to the birth of mankind.
A more serious consequence is that the small dinosaurs that have survived the ice age, because they occupy more survival advantages, may still compete with humans for the evolution of wisdom. We must know that the birth of mankind is not inevitable, but a lucky accident. If there was a race of dinosaurs in addition to mammals in the biological system at that time, then this accidental luck might also come to dinosaurs, and thus Let dinosaurs give birth to wisdom and evolve into a dinosaur civilization step by step.
If dinosaurs give birth to wisdom and form civilization, then humans may completely lose the opportunity to give birth to wisdom. Even in the end human beings were born with wisdom and formed a civilization, but before developing into a technological civilization, the strength of the body is the foundation of survival. Dinosaurs have inherent advantages. When they become intelligent beings, they may be far stronger than humans in terms of physical strength.
And a mountain cannot tolerate two tigers. If both dinosaurs and humans evolve into intelligent civilizations, then there will be a high probability that a war of civilizations will erupt in the end, and the probability of humans winning will be very small. Through the above analysis, we can see how important this asteroid hit the earth 65 million years ago to the emergence of mankind.
Although we do not welcome asteroids to the earth now, we are very grateful for the asteroids that accidentally visited the earth 65 million years ago. Without it, there may be no current human civilization.