How Long Would Dinosaurs Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 80 years

Dinosaurs are a group of reptiles, having a long life span. It’s not that easy to tell the life span of the dinosaurs by their fossilized remains. Many paleontologists stated that Apatosaurus and Diplodocus, which were comparable to an elephant in size, had 70-80 years.

Whereas the smaller meat-eating dinosaurs, similar to an eagle or raven, had a life span of 20-30 years. Many external factors like climate change, illegal hunting, and natural predators are responsible for their life span.

These dinosaurs lived on Earth for about 165 million years. At the end of the Cretaceous period, dinosaurs went extinct, about 65 million years ago.

How Long Would Dinosaurs Live

Animals Quiz

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How Long Would Dinosaurs Live?

Latest available data80 years
Oldest known dinosaurs243 million years

It is more like a challenge to distinguish between male and female dinosaurs. Paleontologists have been trying to differentiate between male and female dinosaurs for decades. Researchers have proposed all sorts of tell-tale signs to identify male and female dinosaurs.

They want the signs of sexual dimorphism or traits that can distinguish one sex from the other. It seemed that dinosaurs were sexually dimorphic. It was discovered that some dinosaurs have bone tissues related to reproduction.

Though hundreds of specimens of this crow-sized bird have been found, not all of them look alike. Birds without tail streamers had a particular tissue called medullary bone that only forms when female dinosaurs lay eggs. So they were females, and birds with long feathers were males.

As eggs and medullary bones only identify gravid female dinosaurs, detecting male relics or non-producing females is more challenging. It is hard to determine a dinosaur’s gender. Lack of a representative population is one of the significant problems with establishing dimorphism in dinosaurs.


New research suggests that small, meat-eating dinosaurs were nocturnal, whereas the enormous, plant-eating dinosaurs tended to forage both day and night. Dinosaurs did their hunting at night.

It is a mystery why dinosaurs became and remained so abundant for more than 280 million years. Because of their evolutionary advantage, such as being warm-blooded and occupying varied habitats, they replaced other land animals.

Why Would Dinosaurs Live For So Long?

Some researchers think that dinosaurs lived so long as it was more a matter of luck than vigor. Stephen Brusatte, a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History, says if one dissects the past, he can see that luck is a big part of everything in the grand scheme of evolution.

Research shows that dinosaurs lived alongside comparable groups of reptiles for millions of years without overtaking them. The early dinosaurs and crurotarsans were contemporaries about 230 to 200 years ago.

Dinosaurs were warm-blooded, so they could regulate and maintain constant internal body temperature. Dinosaurs could survive at any temperature as they can adapt to it, hands down. The environmental change could not affect their rate of metabolism. Dinosaurs could obtain energy from food consumption.


Another reason could be their physical structure. They had unique anatomy that helped them become successful. Their anatomy offered increased benefits, including arms that could move in and out, a neck supporting more strong muscles, and a joint where the thigh bone meets the pelvis.

An upright posture also freed hands; dinosaurs such as iguanodons were allowed to grasp branches and carnivorous dinosaurs to claw and kill prey. This type of body structure helped them being protected from other animals. Hence, their massive body structure and maintenance of constant internal body temperature made them long-lived.


Abundant fossil remains of the dinosaurs and other hard evidence have revealed that dinosaurs dwell on Earth for at least 230 million years. But not a single trace of dinosaur remains has been found in rocks of 66 million years.

It is still not obvious what happened to the dinosaurs or who killed them. According to the evidence, because of an asteroid impact, the dinosaurs and a few other animals and birds went extinct.

It is also believed that volcanic eruptions that caused large-scale climate change may have been involved in this. Hence, the exact answer for each type of dinosaur varies according to their kind.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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