Dinosaurs dominated Earth’s landscape for over 160 million years. By comparison mammals have only been prominent for 20 millions years and modern humans only appear on the world scene 200,000 years ago. 65 million years ago dinosaurs disappeared due to a combination of natural disasters and disease that resulted in starvation, but they all could not have just vanished could they? Some should have survived. According to many legends large dinosaurs still exist. Most of the legends are from remote, virtually unexplored areas of the world. Are these stories of prehistoric beasts just stories or are they rooted in fact? Before this question can be answered let’s explore a handful of these legends.
Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu is a dinosaur-like creature described by only a handful of witness from two different villages located in the remote Congo forests. The witnesses describe a large creature that has “planks growing out of its back”. The animal is also described as being comfortable in both the water and on land. It is also described as a herbivore. Many cryptozoologists believe that the creature is a living Stegosaurus.
Muhuru is another dinosaur-like creature that is a part of the local lore of Kenya. It is described as a large and heavily armored reptile with a club tail. This description has led many in the cryptozoological field to believe this creature is either a living Ankylosaurs or a descendant of the creature.
This cryptid has caused much debate in the cryptozoological community. The debate is over whether the creature is a living dinosaur, an undiscovered species of rhino, or if the creature exists at all. The pygmy tribes of central Africa are the primary witnesses to the creature saying it is a large creature with horns and that they are semi aquatic. Some speculate that the creature is a living Triceratops; others believe it to be an undiscovered species of aquatic rhino, while others say the creature is simply a myth.
Burrunjor is a beast described by the indigenous people of the Australian Outback to be a living theropod dinosaur. This claim is unique as there is physical evidence that back-up eyewitness claims. Primitive cave drawings exists that depict a Tyrannosaurus-like creature and strange 3-toed footprints have been recovered in the outback.
Kongamato is a supposed living pterodactyl said to roam the skies of Western Zambia and the Congo. Explorers and natives both provide eyewitness accounts of this creature and other evidence exists in wounds that natives claim were the end result of getting too close to the territorial dinosaur. Other explanations of the creature include an undiscovered species of giant bat or a misidentified large bird, but natives claim that what they are seeing is much more reptilian.
Can these fantastic tails of living dinosaurs be true? How did natives in remote African villages with little knowledge of dinosaurs describe living dinosaurs? Perhaps it was not the natives describing dinosaurs though. Perhaps the legendary creatures that these tribes are describing are all ready existing animals like rhino, hippos, and elephants. In this case, maybe it is the researchers twisting the eyewitnesses’ descriptions into dinosaurs. This is just speculation and one cannot simply conclude that living dinosaurs do not exist. In fact, to say that there is no such thing as living dinosaurs would be down right false.
Scientists today now know that all the dinosaurs did not die out in the mass extinction event 65 million years ago. Some survived and evolved and some survived and have remained relatively unchanged. Birds, often referred to as aves in the scientific community, are now considered by science to be a subgroup of theropod dinosaurs. Many people have the tendency to doubt evolutionary evidence for religious reasons, but the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs is now considered by scientists to be fact.
T-Rex’s closest living relative…No joke
Most dinosaurs during the mass extinction event starved to death. The smaller theropod dinosaurs could survive on less food due to their smaller size, so some of them would survive and evolve. The reason we know they evolved into birds is because of similar bone structure and DNA and protein sequences. On top of all this what is called transitional species, also referred to as missing links, have been discovered that definitively tie dinosaurs to birds.
Archaeopteryx is the earliest Ave (bird) fossil ever discovered. It dates to the late Jurassic period and shows small reptiles in between their long evolutionary transition between reptile and bird. This animal not only had feathers, but it had advanced flight feathers and wings. It also had reptilian features like scales, a reptilian tail, and reptilian teeth. Along with birds, turtles, crocodile, komodo dragons and frogs have remained relatively unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs and many scientists consider them living fossils.
So it is possible for some dinosaurs to have survived the mass extinction event and survive until today. With this fact set in stone, is it possible that larger dinosaurs like large theropods, stegosaurus, and triceratops have survived in relic populations in remote areas of the world and remained relatively unchanged as well? Cryptozoologists who are proponents of this ides suggest that the areas that these living dinosaurs are often sited have had a relatively stable environment and making the assumption that large dinosaurs were cold-blooded, like most reptiles today, increase their chances for survival in these areas.
There are several problems with this argument. First of all, there is no evidence to suggest that dinosaurs were cold-blooded. There are several examples today of warm-blooded reptiles and birds are also warm-blooded. Also the unchanged environments these cryptozoologists are referring to is usually connected with remote areas of Africa like the Congo, which has actually under gone drastic changes in environment since the Cretaceous. It is also important to note that no dinosaur fossils with the exception of a few controversial and debatable examples have been found that are younger than the Cretaceous.
Does this make the idea of large living dinosaurs extinct? Science is constantly required to question itself no matter how improbable the question may seem. New species of animals are discovered all the time and the discovery of Lazarus taxon (A taxon that disappears from the fossil record only to reappear later) is a phenomenon that has occurred in the past, but no Lazarus taxon has been as fantastic as a dinosaur and the taxon normally only goes missing for a few years not 65 million years. It seems that the chances of someone discovering a T-rex or stegosaurus roaming through the jungles of the Congo is very unlikely, and that is an understatement. I am of the opinion that cryptozoologists should not waste their time chasing dinosaurs and hunt for other cryptids whose likelihood of existence is far greater.
Author: Jonathan Kaulay Copyrighted © paranormalhaze.com