"Lost Dinosaurs" Who Survived Half a Million Years After the Rest Went Extinct

New evidence suggests that a group of dinosaurs in North America survived the extinction events that caused most dinosaurs to go extinct 65 million years ago. Over on National Geographic, there's an intriguing article about James Fasset, the paleontologist who discovered the remains of a hadrosaur on the border between Colorado and New Mexico. The bones are deposited in a rock layer formed thousands of years after the dinosaurs were supposedly wiped out.

Says National Geographic:

Fassett, who supports the asteroid-strike theory, said he can't explain why dinosaurs may have survived longer in some areas but not others.

"One guess is that the survivors lived in the northernmost parts of North America, at the greatest distance from the impact site, and then migrated south," he said.

"But that doesn't explain why [dinosaurs that lived later] haven't been found elsewhere. We don't have an answer for that."

Despite his caution, the Smithsonian's Hans-Dieter Sues said that the idea of Paleocene dinosaurs can't yet be dismissed.

"There is no a priori reason that dinosaurs could not have survived in some places," he wrote in an email to National Geographic News.

"Indeed, other than in the [U.S.] western interior and in Europe, we have as yet no concrete evidence when dinosaurs vanished."


Read more about this extraordinary find in National Geographic.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


I liked the scenario Stephen Baxter posed in Evolution where cold-adapted dinosaurs on a more northery Antarctica rode out the K-T event. Later, when continental drift turned it into Hoth (you know, where Spock dumped Kirk), they froze and their remains were scraped into the ocean by glaciers.

Also the Kerguelen Islands were a decent-sized mini-continent until most of it sank around 20 My ago. I wonder if anyone's been checking around there.