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"Could Sentient Saurians Have Evolved And Died With Dinos?" Topic


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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 1:54 p.m. PST

We all know that fossils of entirely new species are being discovered every day. And, even with the best experts, equipment and "luck", we may never get fossils of every creature that has ever lived.

A lot has already been said about what could have evolved if the dinosaurs had not gone extinct 65 million years ago:

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More:
TMP link

QUESTIONS:

1) However, just based on how long the age of reptiles lasted, could sentient saurians have evolved and even developed a civilization of sorts (either primitive or advanced) BEFORE the time the dinosaurs became extinct?

2) If so, what could they and their "cities" have looked like, BEFORE the big catastrophe came 65MYA?

3) And what 28mm and 15mm figures do you think would represent them best?

Thanks,

Dan
en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Voth
memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Voth
link
TMP link
TMP link

New Sock Puppet for Tony Inactive Member29 Sep 2011 2:09 p.m. PST

Read West of Eden by Harry Harrison.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Sep 2011 2:10 p.m. PST

Makes you wonder "who" might have been throwing rocks.

What would our world look like in 65M years? Would we be able to see evidence our civilization?. I'm trying think of anything that would weather that long.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:12 p.m. PST

Saber6: "Would we be able to see evidence our civilization?. I'm trying think of anything that would weather that long."

I agree. Specially when I see how people build houses these days. No nicely dressed stone blocks like the good ol' days.

Little evidence of ours would survive a few thousand years, much less a few million.

Dan

Bob in Edmonton29 Sep 2011 2:22 p.m. PST

An interesting series of books exploring such an alternate universe has come out in the past few years: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson: link

The sentient dinosaurs are the Griks and they face off against sentient Lemurs and, of course, a WW2 American destroyer. The books (to my surprise) are actually not bad.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:25 p.m. PST

Actually, they are very good books. :)

and yes, I think there was more than enough time and geological situations to allow sentient dinosaurs to develop.

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:29 p.m. PST

They did exist. They just exited the planet into space before the big asteroid hit.

wink

Personal logo richarDISNEY of the RDGC Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:29 p.m. PST

Would we be able to see evidence our civilization?. I'm trying think of anything that would weather that long.
Twinkies would still be fresh…
beer

Little Big Wars Inactive Member29 Sep 2011 2:33 p.m. PST

Here's another question… Why adopt the hominid body plan instead the existing therapod body plan?

Is Dinosaur -> Rubbersuit Lizardman the most likely evolutionary path for the intelligent saurian?

Personal logo Eli Arndt Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:35 p.m. PST

In the grand scheme of things. Sure. There are many reasons why we might not have seen evidence of their civilization, if they had existed.

For all we know there may have been many false starts for intelligent life forms that just never had a chance to make it to a detectable level of technology.

I used to love those "evolved" dino pics but now they just strike me as remarkably humanocentric. Dinosaurs had evolved two-legged mobility and grasping hands without having to go full upright.

As for 15mm or 28mm minis. Why not try going with either

A) existing lizardman ranges

B) some sort of humanoid alien painted with green skin

C) regular dinosaur minis given weapons, equipment, etc.

-Eli

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:41 p.m. PST

LBW: "Is Dinosaur -> Rubbersuit Lizardman the most likely evolutionary path for the intelligent saurian?"

Eli: "I used to love those "evolved" dino pics but now they just strike me as remarkably humanocentric. Dinosaurs had evolved two-legged mobility and grasping hands without having to go full upright."

Very true . . .

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Source: link

More:
link
link

So, regardless of posture, do you think there was sufficient time to evolve a reptilian civilization?

Thanks,

Dan

Legion 429 Sep 2011 2:46 p.m. PST

There was a great Star Trek Voyager episode on this subject .. I think the forth pic is from that episode … Anyway … does any one know for sure what was going on a million years ago let alone millions ?

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Sep 2011 2:48 p.m. PST

Doctor Who canon says yes and they even had time to evolve third eyes and paranormal powers while they were at it. :)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 2:59 p.m. PST

Legion4,

You mean the Voth in ST Voyager? If so, you might enjoy the last couple of links in my original post.

Dan

AVAMANGO29 Sep 2011 3:02 p.m. PST

There was a documentry on the BBC about this subject just this week after Planet Dinosaur.

Gunner Dunbar Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 3:11 p.m. PST

I think yes, I don't believe in the current time line of human technology, I believe there have been civilizations with fairly high tech in the past, and thats just with humans, before humans who knows, I agree that most evidence of human civilization would be gone after several thousand years, except things like freeways cut through mountains, huge mines ect, they would last awhile.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 3:30 p.m. PST

In one of my reference books, maybe Paul's "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs" or maybe the book on the period 65 mya to now "After the Dinosaurs", there is a guesstimate of the missing species. It held that there are now hundreds of known species of dinosaurs, but using current bio-diversity as a guide, there must be hundreds and hundreds of missing animals of all types. This also goes for mammals in the Eocene, Miocene, etc.

Though no hard evidence of intelligent dinosaurs exists at this time, I keep an open mind about such possibilities. Just think, it is now known that there were at least three rival intelligent hominids living at the same time-archic humans, Neanderthals, and those newly discovered Denisovans. No one guessed at the latter's existence until the fragmentary remains were found in Siberia.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 3:56 p.m. PST

Rvandusen: "Just think, it is now known that there were at least three rival intelligent hominids living at the same time-archic humans, Neanderthals, and those newly discovered Denisovans. No one guessed at the latter's existence until the fragmentary remains were found in Siberia."

And don't forget H. Floresiensis too!

link

Dan

MAJIC Miniatures Inactive Member29 Sep 2011 3:58 p.m. PST

The 'intelligent' theropods you are thinking of would probably look nothing like the rubbery/leathery dino-humanoids depicted above. The science of theropods has moved on a bit since Russell's 'Dinosauroid'. An erect gait and a human-like body morphology is bogus IMHO. I am not saying it is impossible to evolve that obviously, but that it is highly improbable.

In appearance these sentinent theropods would have been more like 'Bird-men', than 'Reptile-men'. I don't mean they will be completely covered in feathers or even have flight but simply if you saw one you would probably think that it was a wierd looking flightless bird than some sort of scaly Saurian.

IMHO the simple answer to CC's question is Yes. But the difficulty in proving this hypothesis is finding evidence. Worked stone tools buried with the skeleton would be great, (Palaeontologists find stomach stones gastroliths after all). But given the timescale involved and the vaguries of fossilisation and preservation; the odds of finding the sort of concrete proof (Excuse the pun) required to prove that sentinent (tool-using) theropods existed are pretty small.

Also humans probably developed stone tools to help them kill or at least butcher medium to large prey. This need is much less likely for sentinent theropods in this hypothesis, making the likelyhood of strong evidence even harder.

If there were any cities then they would have been made from wood.

Suitable Mini manufacturers is a tough question. Any feathery theropod or flightless bird options might be a good start.

Mako1129 Sep 2011 4:32 p.m. PST

Not sure, but I'd like to see the top one made into a miniatures range, in any scale, with modern weaponry.

John M W29 Sep 2011 5:00 p.m. PST

Considering that it seems likely that modern humans evolved over a span of only a "few" million years – with Sapiens Sapiens wandering about for only the last 250,000 or so the evolution of sentient dinos is definitely a possiblity.

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 5:58 p.m. PST

So maybe Lovecraft got it right after all with all his talk about Old Ones and Elder Races and all the civilizations that existed before man evolved.

And who's to say the asteroid wasn't diverted to hit a competing center of civilization and had just a bit more impact than was forecast. There was a relatively recent SF series with the premise that at least two civilizations had developed and been killed off prior to mankind: giant squids and dinosaurs who evolved into what are now known as "grey aliens." The series was written by Ken Macleod.

Personal logo HUBCommish Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 6:12 p.m. PST

So what would be left of our civilization in 65 million years? Space program equipment on the moon and that's it?

dragon629 Sep 2011 6:38 p.m. PST

richarDISNEY wrote

Twinkies would still be fresh…
Twinkies fresh? Still? They were ever fresh?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 6:54 p.m. PST

Mako11: "but I'd like to see the top one made into a miniatures range, in any scale, with modern weaponry."

Add your weapons to this fella here:

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Source:

toybox2006.ciao.jp/mu.html

Dan :)

Gunner Dunbar Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 7:10 p.m. PST

whos to say a meteor wiped out the dino, why not Nuclear war? thats actually an interesting idea.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 7:20 p.m. PST

Oooooo, I like that idea!!!!

Dan

Cincinnatus Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2011 7:40 p.m. PST

You guys are crazy. The next thing you'll be saying is that the speed of light is not a hard limit.

religon Inactive Member29 Sep 2011 7:40 p.m. PST

My GW Lizardmen are being painted to oppose cave girls. They are likely to go extinct after facing Sheena. Her stats are the same as Aragon's stats.

Lion in the Stars Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 3:13 a.m. PST

whos to say a meteor wiped out the dino, why not Nuclear war? thats actually an interesting idea.
Problem is that the K-T boundary doesn't have the easy fissionables or decay chains from them. It's got a heavy dose of extraterrestrial iridium, IIRC.

Let's see here, humanity's ancestors were NOT top of the food chain, so I would expect the ancestor of a sentient dino to be one of the smaller theropods, like the velociraptor or deinonychus, maybe even a microraptor. Pack predators are fairly quick to develop social skills and intelligence.

Wellspring30 Sep 2011 3:52 a.m. PST

I think that a sentient dinosaur would look like a small raptor with an enlarged head, forward-facing eyes and enhanced fingers. They'd still have feathers, and still have the general dinosaur gait and horizontal layout.

In fact, haven't we seen a race like that already?

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Most of the anthropomorphic scifi minis out there are TOO human like. They're basically humans in rubber suits. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Felids, but the rest leave me cold.

wminsing Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 6:56 a.m. PST

To answer the questions

1) can't rule it out!
2) no reasonable assumptions can be made, so speculate as you like
3) No great ones for 'my' idea of what they would look like, since I also reject the humanoid body plan.

Another interesting bit that I read awhile ago on this idea, is there is some evidence for reduction in biodiversity, large scale deforestation/erosion, etc, in the late Cretaceous. All these things are all also present in the 'holocene', ie, the last 10,000 years as civilization developed.

-Will

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 7:18 a.m. PST

We weren't all destroyed during the "big bang."

MAJIC Miniatures Inactive Member30 Sep 2011 7:30 a.m. PST

I agree with Lion in the Stars. The primary terrestrial apex predators of the late Cretaceous in the Northern hemisphere were packs of Tyrannosaurs. So unless these hypothetical Sentinent Saurians managed to tame and breed them in captivity (nudge nudge, wink wink Cacique Caribe!) they would have had significant competition / Predators to worry about.

If you have had a chance to see the recent BBC Planet Dinosaur series, you could adapt the idea of arboreal (tree-living) raptors and extrapolate that the Sentinent Saurians start upgrade their nests by building Ewok building-like structures in the forests; which are high enough off the ground to be protected from the Tyrannosaurs.

wminsing makes a good point about the reduction in biodiversity.

The major problem with a direct comparison is the timescales involved. Both in the geological time since the Cretaceous and the actual duration of time the biodiversity reduction took place. I realise the deccan traps (plateau) is probably a major factor in this, but I am sure it is not the only one.

Also I randomly came across Gary Hunt Miniatures in a TMP banner advert on an unrelated thread and discovered the Feathered Dinosaurs that might just meet Cacique Caribe's requirement.

link

tberry7403 Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 7:49 a.m. PST

Critical Mass Games offer a couple of packs of reptile-like figures in their "Mercenary" section:

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The Other Tim

Legion 430 Sep 2011 7:49 a.m. PST

Yeah Dan, the Voth !!! Thought that was a cool idea !!! Like I said, who knows what really happened millions of years ago !! BTW, Exodus Wars and DRM makes some great 6mm Sci-fi Hi-tech Lizardmen and some Lo-tech one too … evil grin

Eclectic Wave30 Sep 2011 8:24 a.m. PST

1. Unless they were very localized, if they used rocks in any sort of way, someone would have found something. Archeologists are very good at determining if a rock, even one that has not been knapped (rock knapping is breaking bits off to make a point or blade) has been used as a tool, the wear patterns are very distinct. Finding a rock that has been used as a tool or even more likely a bone that a tool has been used on, in a dinosaur layer would be probably been found by now found, unless, the use was very much localized, and that site is lost.

2. Even if they did not use rocks, and only wood let's say, if they were again, not very localized we could find the areas that they disturbed the ground, say for digging holes, ramparts, moats, defensive walls, and the such. Yes, such structures would not survive millions of years, but we could still detect were the ground has been disturbed, and again, archeologists are good at finding these.

The only way such a society could have existed is that they were in a very localized area (say a area the size of the state of California) and that ancient area is either non-accessible to us (due to coastal changes) or was totally disturbed/broken up so that any finds is impossible (say the area uplifted to become the Alps, and all the layers have either been eroded away, or are at the tops of mountains).

Brother Jim30 Sep 2011 8:39 a.m. PST

Or the asteroid landed on them.

Allen5730 Sep 2011 10:11 a.m. PST

CC,

Are you looking for your ancestors? (hope this does not get me dawghoused).

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 11:34 a.m. PST

Yes.

The family tree is missing some early portions of our branch. I have everything up to the big asteroid/comet that killed the dinos 65 million years ago but, before that catastrophe, everything gets a little blurry.

Dan

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 11:46 a.m. PST

Critical Mass Games

Bummer they aren't 28mm

Are you looking for your ancestors?

Yes.

The family tree is missing some early portions of our branch.

The branches may be growing underwater like some trees in rainforest swamps. Hard to spot if you don't know exactly where they are, but they ARE there just the same…

JJ

Personal logo Eli Arndt Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 12:34 p.m. PST

We barely find solid evidence of species and tools from more recent prehistory, I'm not so sure we'd have much in the way of anything identifiable as signs of stone tech civilizations that far back.

Not saying they wouldn't be there but face it some of our fossil records of more recent developments fit into a shoe box.

-Eli

Mark Plant30 Sep 2011 12:58 p.m. PST

We barely find solid evidence of species and tools from more recent prehistory, I'm not so sure we'd have much in the way of anything identifiable as signs of stone tech civilizations that far back.

Not true at all. We find enormous amounts of material from our prehistory. It's just that most of it isn't able to tell us anything much because it is not easily dated. And we don't exactly have huge amounts of resources dedicated to prehistoric archaeology: a few university departments.

Flint arrowheads and stone carvings don't rot for a start. More importantly though the middens (rubbish) are unmistakably human in origin and common. Finding prehistoric stuff is very easy.

As for modern man's materials not being visible in millions of years -- are you kidding? Quite apart from imperishables like gold and diamond jewelry, there are pyramids and tunnels and ore processing plants. You think beings will not notice that whole mountains have been removed? Broken Hill in Australia is so mammoth that it will take rather more than a couple of million years to hide it. Our moon junk will last longer than that.

(Incidentally, why do we assume the dinosaurs weren't sentient? I would class modern dolphins as sentient. What they aren't is tool working.)

Alex Reed Inactive Member30 Sep 2011 4:17 p.m. PST

Finding Prehistoric stuff from 25,000 years ago is easy when compared to finding stuff from 250,000 years ago, which is easier than finding stuff from 2,500,000 years ago, to say NOTHING of 25,000,000 years ago.

In that time, even knapped rock could have all signs of usage worn off if it was not in a spot that would meticulously preserve it.

And things that we find among early human settlements (Middens, Fire-Pits, Post-Holes, foundations for walls, etc.) could be easily disbursed and scattered in the tens to hundreds of millions of years that have passed in the meantime.

It does not mean that it would be impossible, just that it is extraordinarily unlikely.

All that needs to happen is a disturbance of stratigraphy and any evidence could be ruined, even if it is recognized.

And, whoever said that sapient dinosaurs would look more like birds is correct.

The photo of the Skexis from Dark Crystal are probably pretty close, if such a thing existed.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2011 5:42 p.m. PST

Alex Reed: "The photo of the Skexis from Dark Crystal are probably pretty close, if such a thing existed."

Hmm. Is this what the Skeksis look like under all their robes?

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Source: link

If so, I wouldn't mind a line of 15mm figures that looked like that (minus that weird second pair of arms, that is)! A bit less vulture-like would be nice too.

Perhaps more like this?

YouTube link

Dan

Lion in the Stars Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2011 7:44 a.m. PST

(Incidentally, why do we assume the dinosaurs weren't sentient? I would class modern dolphins as sentient. What they aren't is tool working.)
They're not sentient if they aren't tool-users. They may well be very smart, but only tool-users get my vote for sapience/sentience. Then, we can talk about language.

Otters, Crows, and Chimpanzees are tool users, but chimps and the other great apes can't learn a language like humans can. Even the gorilla with the largest vocabulary in ASL had a vocabulary of about 500 words. Two-year-old humans have a bigger vocabulary than that.

However, put me down for some 'not-Skeksis' in 15mm!

flintlocklaser01 Oct 2011 10:12 a.m. PST

However, put me down for some 'not-Skeksis' in 15mm!

Dan & Lion, how about these guys? Just spotted them today:

link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2011 10:36 a.m. PST

Flintlocklaser,

Wow!!! Those look awesome.

Thanks so much,

Dan

flintlocklaser01 Oct 2011 10:49 a.m. PST

Glad to help; Dropship Horizon had a link to some 'jump troops' in 15mm that are heaven-sent for my 'Revolt on Antares' project, and when I went to the manufacturer's page for more info, I saw the greens for these not-Skeksis and thought of this thread immediately!

Alex Reed Inactive Member01 Oct 2011 2:18 p.m. PST

The legs of the Skexis would probably be longer. At least going by the traditional Theropod/Bird body plans, and the body would be more longitudinal than upright.

Of course the leg length could be pretty variable, as it is in modern birds, but it is likely that once a sapient species evolved, that it's body-plan and proportions would tend to dominate. Thus, if the original Sapient Dinosaur had shorter legs, then all of its descendants would tends to have similar legs (even if the legs of some turned out to be longer, the proportions would tend to be similar).

And those "Harook" are just another "Man-in-a-rubber-suit" alien.

Their body plan in human, not theropod.

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