Did you know that there are still living animals on this planet that are so closely related to dinosaurs, they could actually be mistaken for them? In fact, many of these animals look so much like dinosaurs, they’ve even been used in Hollywood movies to portray prehistoric creatures!
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While dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years, these modern-day animals provide us with a fascinating glimpse into what life was like for those prehistoric creatures. Let’s take a closer look at some of the closest living animals to dinosaurs…
Crocodiles are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs. These scaly predators first appeared on Earth around 240 million years ago, making them one of the oldest species still in existence today.
While crocodiles share many characteristics with dinosaurs (such as their long tails and robust bodies), there are some key differences between these two groups of animals. For instance, crocodiles have shorter legs in proportion to their bodies and they also lack the distinctive “claws” that many dinosaurs had.
Birds are another group of animals that are closely related to dinosaurs. In fact, many birds actually share a common ancestor with certain kinds of dinosaurs!
The link between birds and dinosaurs was first discovered in the early 1800s when scientists realized that both groups of animals share a number of similarities. For example, both birds and dinosaurs have hollow bones, which makes them lighter and easier to fly (or run).
Snakes are another group of reptiles that are closely related to dinosaurs. Like crocodiles and birds, snakes first appeared on Earth during the Mesozoic Era (which lasted from 252 to 66 million years ago). When we see the spectacular anatomy of reptiles and their ancestors we can ask ourselves: do dinosaurs have ears? read this article if you want to find out.
While snakes share many characteristics with dinosaurs (such as their long, slender bodies), there are some key differences between these two groups of animals. For instance, snakes lack legs, and they also have much shorter tails.
These scaly animals first appeared on Earth around 260 million years ago, making them one of the oldest species still in existence today.
Lizards share many characteristics with dinosaurs, such as their long tails and flexible spines. However, there are some key differences between these two groups of animals. For instance, lizards lack the robust bodies that many dinosaurs had, and they also have shorter legs.
5. toirtoises and turtles
Tortoises and turtles are some of the oldest living animals on Earth. They first appeared during the Late Triassic period, about 210 million years ago. Turtles are closely related to crocodiles and birds, and they share a common ancestor with dinosaurs.
Turtles are reptiles that are characterized by their hard shells. Tortoises are a type of turtle that lives on land. Both tortoises and turtles can withdraw their head and limbs into their shell for protection.
Turtles and tortoises are found all over the world, in both fresh-water and salt-water habitats. Some species of turtles are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting.
While dinosaurs are long gone, there are still many animals alive today that are closely related to them. These modern-day animals provide us with a fascinating glimpse into what life was like for those prehistoric creatures.
So the next time you see a crocodile, bird, snake, lizard, or turtle, remember that you’re looking at one of the closest living animals to dinosaurs!
Do you have any questions about these modern-day “dinosaurs”? Let us know in the comments below!