It is commonly accepted that birds are descendants of dinosaurs. It is nice that not all dinosaurs died out.

Are there other animals, descendants of dinosaurs, that survived ? (Maybe not till our time, but survived the time when most dinosaurs died).

By the way, what made flying dinosaurs survive and not die like other dinosaurs?

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    $\begingroup$ The fact that you do not limit answers to extant decendents makes this very hard to answer. The taxonomic group "dinosaur" was on the earth for millions of years, so the answer will depend on where you start counting decendents. $\endgroup$
    – DQdlM
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like Aves are the only ones that survived to the modern day. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_classification $\endgroup$ Commented May 23, 2013 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ It is very hard to answer your second question since we still don't know for certain what made most of the dinosaurs/reptiles disappear. $\endgroup$
    – raygozag
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ Are you trying to understand if reptiles like lizards are descended from dinosaurs? $\endgroup$
    – Alex Stone
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 1:17

1 Answer 1


No. No other group found in the fossil record after the K-T boundary (the extinction "event") descends from dinosaurs.

It is likely that the extinction event was not itself instantaneous so if you wanted to be extremely picky you could argue that small numbers of individuals survived the K-T boundary but, apart from birds, none of these survivors went on to form long lasting lineages.

Non-avian dinosaurs that survived the extinction event are referred to as "palaeocene dinosaurs", there are some links on Wikipedia that might interest you.

You can see a diagram linking vertebrate groups here, similar diagrams can be found in most evolution texts.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have good standard reference on dinosaur extinction at hand to back this up, e.g. a review paper (I'm not doubting it, just curious to read myself)? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 11:25

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