Often, when we think about who was here first on the surface of the Earth, we think of sharks or dinosaurs. The reason for this is that both species date back hundreds of years. The sharks are even considered older than the trees. So what you can expect of the dinosaurs.
The fact that these creatures existed so long before is not only fascinating for history students but surprising for all of us. Despite the fact that sharks are very common in the world’s oceans today, there are largely no dinosaurs left alive. This brings us to find out which is the older sharks or the dinosaurs.
Before we look into which animal is older, let’s find out the truth about dinosaurs’ existence.
Do dinosaurs still exist?
As soon as we hear the name dinosaur, we picture a gigantic animal, which is often a perception we have cultivated through movies. Since no one has probably seen a dinosaur in real life, it seems that dinosaurs do not exist today.
As LiveScience points out in its report on the matter, all the evidence suggests they died out about 65 million years ago. That’s a very long time for giant dinosaurs to live and die without leaving any significant fossil evidence.
However, dinosaurs did not all die out; in terms of evolution, birds are a living group of dinosaurs because their common ancestor is the dinosaurs as a whole. Aside from the birds, there aren’t any dinosaurs alive today.
Alright, so we are clear about the dinosaurs, but what about the sharks? Do they exist in reality? Let’s find out.
Do sharks still exist?
Over 500 species of sharks have been discovered and are inhabiting the world’s oceans. Check out the different types here. Not only do they exist, but they play an integral role in maintaining the health of blue oceans and keeping the population in balance. No doubt, sharks are important to us in a number of ways.
With that said, sharks are being killed in large numbers due to fishing, shark finning, and many other reasons. Many species of sharks are declared endangered or near-threatened, but the fact remains that they exist in all oceans.
Who appeared first is the only question to ask now, so let’s get straight into it and see which is older sharks or dinosaurs.
Which were here first, sharks or dinosaurs?
While sharks do exist in today’s time, dinosaurs are not anywhere to be seen. But we need to determine which animal species appeared first on Earth; only then can we know which one is older than the other.
First, in terms of dinosaurs, they descended from around 240 million years ago to about 230 million years ago and dominated the Earth until about 65 million years ago. The creatures evolved and grew into the most massive beasts that ever roamed the Earth. As per the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), during the Triassic period, around 230 million years ago, Lateosaurus, one of the largest plant-eating dinosaurs, first appeared.
There have been sharks around for hundreds of millions of years, and to be precise, the period goes back to 420 million years ago. However, they do not exist on land but in water. Their habitat is much different than the dinosaurs.
Even though sharks are often described as living fossils, over time, they have developed multiple forms depending on different climatic conditions, meteorological events, and the food resources available at the time. Nonetheless, some shark species still exhibit many of the same characteristics they did hundreds of years ago—for example, the frilled shark.
When it comes to the first shark species discovered on Earth, it was the Cladoselache species. However, traits had already been found even earlier but without apparent features such as eyes, fins, and bones, which makes the Cladoselache species the first identified shark species on Earth.
As we can see from the above information that sharks’ existence goes back to 420 million years, whereas the dinosaur’s existence goes back to 240 million years, it is crystal clear that sharks are much older than the dinosaurs.
While dinosaurs dominated the land during their time, the sharks have ruled the ocean world since the beginning. However, there are a few shark predators, but that doesn’t affect much of their ruling in the oceans. See if sharks are afraid of dolphins?
Besides, sharks are playing a pivotal role in enhancing ecotourism, and many parts of the world are now offering you the opportunity to swim with sharks. Ever wondered what sharks eat? Do check out what their diet consists of.
While there is no comparison between the sharks and the dinosaurs, we can look out which one was here first. According to evolutionary history, sharks made their appearance long before dinosaurs, and they even exist today. You can get a chance to see several species of sharks in Hawaii, Florida, and many other different parts of the world. Before you go, don’t forget to read how to identify sharks so that you don’t miss the chance and can capture the moment.