Humans and the Tyrannosaurus rex are closer on the world’s timeline than the T. rex and Stegosaurus. Weird, right?
Why It Matters
It’s a common error to lump together all non-avian dinosaurs into a single time period. The truth is, dinosaurs roamed the Earth for a long time, and they all most certainly did not exist together. For example, the Stegosaurus roamed the Earth during the late Jurassic period, between 156 and 144 million years ago. On the other hand, the Tyrannosaurus rex lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 67–65 million years ago. The T. rex actually existed closer in history to humans than to the Stegosaurus. Yes, to the T.rex, the Stegosaurus was ancient.
Why It’s Relevant
Relative to how long the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we humans have been around for a blip in time. It can be tempting to think of all non-avian dinosaurs as a single group living at a single point in time, but in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to dinosaurs, most of us have a lot to learn.