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Author Topic: How long did dinosaurs live for?  (Read 2012 times)

Offline JnA

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How long did dinosaurs live for?
« on: 13/03/2013 23:47:09 »
Hello TNS

Given that larger reptiles that exist today have rather long life spans (Galapagos tortoise - 100+years, Estuarine Crocodile - 70 years, komodo dragon - 30+ years)  can we assume that a dinosaurs lifespan was similarly long?  Is there any evidence of a dinosaurs endurance?

« Last Edit: 14/03/2013 04:11:23 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How long did dinosaurs live for?
« Reply #1 on: 14/03/2013 06:31:34 »
I saw estimates of 75 to 300 years, but of course not all dinosaurs are created equally.

Apparently some of the bones have the equivalent of growth rings.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: How long did dinosaurs live for?
« Reply #2 on: 14/03/2013 14:12:56 »
Tortoises, crocodilians and lizards are not similar to, nor were they related to the dinosaurs, so it is, perhaps, not quite right to compare them to each other.

In fact, tortoises can live well beyond 100yrs. Adwaita, a male Aldabra giant tortoise from the Seychelles, lived to the ripe old age of 256. But like Timothy, a Mediterranean Spur Thigh Tortoise (175yrs) and Harriet, a Galapagos Giant Tortosie (176yrs), these animals were held in captivity. While the Aldabra and Galapagos tortoises are giant species, the Spur Thigh is not. This rather seems to make a nonsense of the size - longevity theory.

Equally, the Bowhead Whale is known to live well in excess of 100yrs, where the Blue Whale is estimated to have an 80 - 90yr lifespan.

I think this shows that size is not the whole story. The only surviving relatives of the dinosaurs are the birds and here too there are some examples which do not fall into line. The Emu has a life span of around 35yrs, some Swans and Turkey Buzzards may live for 100yrs and some Amazon Parrots are claimed to have lived more than 100yrs.

As Clifford wrote, 300yrs does seem to be a possibility for some dinosaurs, such as Apatosaurus (a herbivore of around 20m and 40tons), while the much smaller Velociraptor (a carnivore of around 2m and 80kgs) may have only lived for around 20yrs. Yet the Hypacrosaurus (a herbivore of around 10m and 4tons) may have expected to reach just 35 - 40yrs.

What we have to remember is that Adwaita and Timothy were kept in captivity. Would they have reached their ripe old age if they had been in the wild?

I think we can speculate that dinosaurs may, in some cases, have had a long life expectancy, but subject to injury, illness, predation and other factors, I doubt many, if any, would have reached their maximum, just as modern animals in the wild are unlikely to achieve great age, unless the circumstances are just right.

This all makes it virtually impossible to tell how long dinosaurs may have lived. I think there may be some correlation to size, weight, diet, speed and growth rate, but even then there may be exceptions to the rule.
 

Offline JnA

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Re: How long did dinosaurs live for?
« Reply #3 on: 18/03/2013 23:21:38 »
Thanks Don and all.
 

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Re: How long did dinosaurs live for?
« Reply #3 on: 18/03/2013 23:21:38 »

 

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