Not only do we have large brains and keen intelligence, but we are self-aware.
We are conscious: we sense the world around us in an advanced way, and know that we exist, and that others exist.
Our species has been around for just a few hundred thousand years, a newcomer on the geological scene. So why didn’t dinosaurs develop sentience during their evolutionary run that exceeded 150 million years?
First off, we assume they didn’t, because they didn’t leave records of things like writing, language and other sentient thought processes in the fossil record. But we do know from CT scanning of fossil skulls that many dinosaurs had very large brains.
Could these large brains have eventually become sentient? Maybe, if the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact didn’t knock out dinosaurs in their prime and pave the way for our mammalian ancestors.
Asked by: Pamela Flower, via email
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