TechCould dinosaurs have evolved into humanoids? Controversial theory revisited 40 years later

Could dinosaurs have evolved into humanoids? Controversial theory revisited 40 years later

Man-talk (Press materials, Photo: Industrial Light & Magic)
Man-talk (Press materials, Photo: Industrial Light & Magic)
Images source: © Licensor

2:56 PM EST, January 20, 2024

This theory speculates that intelligent dinosaurs, labeled as troodons, may have undergone an evolutionary process similar to mammals, leading to the development of humanoid reptiles.

Troodon, paleontologists contend, may have been one of the most intelligent dinosaurs. Bearing this unique attribute in mind, Russell conducted a thought experiment pondering the possibility of a humanoid creature that could have evolved from these dinosaurs. He named it dinosauroid, though the term Troodon sapiens, meaning "intelligent troodon," is also commonly used.

Humanoid Dinosaurs

In 1982, Russell joined forces with sculptor Ron Séguin to create a reimagining of what a humanoid troodon descendant might look like. According to their concept, a dinosauroid would ambulate upright on two feet. Resembling most troodons, the creature envisioned by Russell and Séguin would have three fingers on each hand, one of which would be partially opposable.

The dinosauroid would possess an extremely large pair of eyes, a significantly enlarged cranium, and a diminished jawbone. The elongated tail of the troodon would have disappeared and surprisingly, the dinosauroid would be toothless. Russell and Séguin envisaged that a humanoid reptile evolved from a carnivorous dinosaur would lack teeth entirely. A navel is also depicted on Séguin's model, as Russell theorized that a humanoid dinosauroid, unlike dinosaurs, would deliver live offspring.

Russell also postulated that millions of years of evolution would culminate in these "reptile humans" creating an advanced civilization and technology. Nonetheless, his theory faced backlash from his peers in paleontology who argued that the concept of a dinosauroid was excessively anthropomorphic.

Subsequent to Russell's thought experiment, discussions ensued about what our world would resemble if humanoid reptiles coexisted with us. One theory propounds that dinosauroids would be the dominant species, displacing Homo sapiens, or even preventing their appearance on Earth. Another proffers that they would live alongside humans, either harmoniously or in conflict.

The concept of a human-dinosaur hybrid, though nearly 40 years old now, has retained its allure. It continues to stimulate scientists', artists', and conspiracy theorists' imaginations about reptilians. A hypothetical view of dinosaur evolution and conjecture of what could have transpired if they had survived to the present day is presented in the BBC documentary, "Horizon: My Pet Dinosaur."

It is worth noting that rumors circulated among "Jurassic Park" fans for a time that the fourth installment of the popular film series, "Jurassic World," would introduce hybrids created from dinosaur and human DNA. As we now know, this ultimately did not occur. However, models and concept artwork generated suggest that such an idea was contemplated.

A few years prior to the "Jurassic World" premiere, a rumored script fragment proposed that hybrids would be conceived by a clandestine laboratory with the intention of creating the perfect soldiers. This notion reemerged in the final rendition of the film, where a subplot concerning the potential use of velociraptors in military operations was introduced. The film did not completely abandon the hybrid concept, but instead concentrated on a cross-breed of two predatory dinosaurs.

The notion of a human-dinosaur hybrid was eventually dismissed, as corroborated by film industry portals. The series creators were dissuaded by a humanoid dinosaur model crafted by Carlos Huante from Industrial Light & Magic. This concept did not resonate well with fans of the iconic series. Colin Trevorrow, director of the third film in the "Jurassic World" series, announced that his film would not feature any novel dinosaur hybrids.

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