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Welcome to the blog tour for
How to Survive in the Age of Dinosaurs,
part of National Geographic Kids’ DinoMAYnia – a month-long celebration of all things prehistoric!All week blogs are hosting fun excerpts from this handy guide so you will know just what it takes to dodge deadly dinosaurs, ride out mega monsoons and escape other perils of the prehistoric!
How To Survive the Dinosaur ExtinctionBy this point, you’ve survived shifting continents, changing climates, and massive weather events. But during this last period, you’re going to encounter something truly out of this world: An asteroid the size of San Francisco, California, U.S.A., will slam into the sea off the coast of Mexico with the force of more than a billion nuclear bombs, killing about three-quarters of all living things, including the dinosaurs that ruled for so long.
- The End-Cretaceous Extinction: 66 million years ago
- Known For: The end of the dinosaurs
- Best Place for Home Base: Siberia, as far away from the impact site as possible
- Your Main Food Source: Whatever dying plants and animals you can scavenge
- Try to avoid: Going extinct yourself
What Did Survive?Paleontologists have never found a single trace of dinosaur remains from after 66 million years ago. All dinosaur groups, besides birds, were completely wiped out in the asteroid strike and its awful aftermath. Along with them went the prehistoric sea monsters: the mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. Gone also were the pterosaurs. But, just as in every terrible extinction that has struck planet Earth, a few creatures survived. Here are two known to have lived in the very latest Cretaceous. They, or their direct descendants, survived the extinction that ended the age of dinosaurs:
- Cimolestes – The first mammals evolved from a group of mammal-like reptiles called therapsids at the end of the Triassic period. All smaller than a badger, they were burrowers, swimmers, tree climbers, gliders, and more. One of these animals was called Cimolestes. Cimolestes was a placental mammal, named for the organ that nourished its growing young. (Modern placental mammals vary from whales to bats to humans.) Its name translates to “bug thief“ after its likely diet of insects, and it may have resembled a modern elephant shrew. Cimolestes lived alongside dinosaurs, eating insects and small reptiles and hiding up in trees or underground in burrows to avoid getting squashed. Little Cimolestes was a tiny, quivering critter, but its descendants would go on to evolve into modern mammals—including us.
- Brachychampsa – If you saw Brachychampsa in a swamp today, you probably wouldn’t look twice. Modern day alligators are closely related to this freshwater-lurking, carnivorous creature, which lived in the latest Cretaceous. Its appearance has remained basically unchanged in the 66 million years since the age of dinosaurs. However, its large mouth gives it more chomping power than modern gators and its teeth have a rounded cap on the end, probably for smashing the shells of animals such as turtles.
Did You Know?
The asteroid impact was so powerful that scientists think bits of planet Earth could have been catapulted as far as Saturn’s moon Titan.
How to Survive in the Age of Dinosaurs:
A Handy Guide to Dodging Deadly Predators, Riding Out Mega-Monsoons and Escaping Other Perils of the Prehistoric
(ages 8-12, Paperback, National Geographic Kids Books)Boom, boom, BOOM … Look out! That’s a T. rex coming your way!? You’ve been transported back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. What do you do?! Test your chops and discover if you have what it takes to survive at a time when Earth looked, well, a tad different in this ultimate survival guide to the prehistoric age. Find out how to make it through exploding volcanoes and mega monsoons—while dodging giant Permian bugs! See how to fend off an angry pterosaur and learn what to do if you’re caught in a stampede of enormous titanosaurs. Discover what you could eat (spoiler alert: You better like the taste of insects!), and find out which hungry creatures just might try to eat you! Packed with tips, tricks, and helpful maps, this is the ultimate handbook for dinosaur fans who want to know what life on Earth was really like when dinos ruled. Could you survive in the age of dinosaurs?
About the AuthorStephanie Warren Drimmer is an award winning science writer based in Los Angeles, California. She writes books and magazine features for kids about everything from the strangest places in space, to the chemistry of cookies, to the mysteries of the human brain. She has a degree in science journalism from New York University…but she thinks she likes writing for kids because she’s secretly still one herself.
About the Expert ContributorDr. Steve Brusatte vertebrate paleontologist and evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of Edinburgh who specializes in the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of dinosaurs and other fossil organisms. He has written over 110 scientific papers, published six books (including the adult pop science book The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, the textbook Dinosaur Paleobiology, and the coffee table book Dinosaurs), and has described over 15 new species of fossil animals. He has done fieldwork in Brazil, Britain, China, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and the United States. His research is profiled often in the popular press and he is a “resident paleontologist” and scientific consultant for the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs team.
- One (1) winner will receive a copy of How to Survive in the Age of Dinosaurs!
- US/Can only
- Ends 6/3 at 11:59 pm ET
- Enter via the form below
Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!