From time to time I am hearing people discussing about the possibility that men and dinosaurs meeting some time ago.

The oldest mammal remains seem to be about 35 million years old, quite some time after dinosaurs have perished.

Also, it is very implausible for a primitive man to manage to survive near the dinosaurs (I think they would be very hard to handle even using current technology).

Question: is it even remotely possible for advanced mammals (nearly humans) to have coexisted with dinosaurs?

  • $\begingroup$ Just a quick comment, the article that you linked exists on the ICR page, Institute for Creationist Research, which is more of a religious organisation than a scientific one. If anything, they're doing pseudoscience, so please, do take their claims with a (big) grain of salt. $\endgroup$
    – sjaustirni
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


Is it possible that nearly human mammals existed before the last mass extinction dinosaurs?

Short answer


Longer answer

The ancestor of all mammals lived about ~180 millions years ago (see here), so much before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (~65 millions years ago). The ancestor of all primates lived ~65 millions years ago (see here), so pretty much at the same time as the C-P extinction.

But please, don't picture the ancestor of all primates as something that is too human like. It looked more like a lemur, a tarsier or a loris, than like a human!

The first great ape lived about 14 millions years ago (see here) and the most recent ancestor of chimpanzee, bonobos and humans lived about 6 millions years ago (see here). The discovery of how to control fire happened about 1.5 millions years ago (with a pretty wide confidence interval, see the wikipedia article). The first generally considered Homo sapiens lived about 200,000 years ago (see the wikipedia article). The wheel was first invented about 5'000 years ago (see the wikipedia article).

Related: Who are humans' closest relatives, after primates?

  • $\begingroup$ So, the answer is clearly to my question is No and such coexisting is pure fantasy. Thanks for the relevant references. Onezoom dynamic tree is particularly nice and useful for newbies. $\endgroup$
    – Alexei
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed it is no! I added this simple straight forward answer as a short answer. Yes OneZoom.org is pretty neat. You can find other good resources to represent the tree of life in the post The best free and most up to date phylogenetic tree on the internet?. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 15:46

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