There’s an important question, that’s troubled people for a long time, which are better Dinosaurs or Sharks?
In this post we’ll go through some examples of both, to help answer this age-old question. We’ll look at a variety of factors, such as how long have they existed? Which is bigger? The most famous? Which is the weirdest? By the end, hopefully, you will be able to make a decision!
Dinosaurs Vs Sharks Round 1 Weirdest:
Sharks or Dinosaurs, which is weirdest? This one was a toughie. There are some absolutely mind-bending examples for both. We’ve picked out an interesting contender from each camp to go head-to-head!
Sharks – Goblin shark:
There are so many wonderful examples of truly weird sharks such as Frilled Sharks, Cookiecutter sharks, Hammerhead Sharks and Ornate Wobbegongs. I think the Goblin Shark tops the bill for me. This strange benthic (Benthic means it lives on the ocean floor) species isn’t about to win a beauty pageant. Its skin tends to be bright pink, with a long protruding snout and a jaw below it that can extend far out of its mouth!
Dinosaurs – Parasaurolophus:
This dinosaur reached lengths of 10 meters. It has extensions on the back of its skull. These had acoustic qualities and it’s believed it used to make loud trumpeting calls over large distances. If you ask me, it’s pretty strange having a trumpet on your head!
Round 2 Biggest:
Sharks – Megalodon
These huge sharks are believed to be the largest fish that ever lived (though the Blue Whale remains the largest animal to ever live that we know of!) with females reaching lengths of approximately 18 meters. The diameter of their bite was around 3 meters! Some experts date the Megalodon back between 145 to 66 million years ago. Weighing in at roughly 6500kg.
Dinosaurs – Titanosaurs
There’s a range of titanosaurs, some huge and some small – Titanosauria is a family of dinosaurs, with remains found across seven continents. They thrived right up to the end of the Cretaceous. With remains often being incomplete, it means we know little about them, unfortunately. One of the largest is the Patagotitan. Discovered in Patagonia, Argentina in 2014. With estimated sizes of 40m long and weighing in at an estimated 7700kg! It would have been truly massive!
Round 3 Fame:
Sharks – Great White Sharks
Thanks to the efforts of books and movies for years now the Great white is undeniably a famous species of shark. Instantly recognisable and often the image that jumps to mind when you hear the word shark. Often displayed as a relentless eating machine, set on devouring everything it comes across. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Between 2011 and 2017, 259 people died in selfie-taking related accidents, compared to 50 people killed by sharks!
The Sand Tiger Sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium are a close relative to the Great White!
Dinosaurs – Tyrannosaurus Rex
I think this has to be the world’s most famous dinosaur. Even earned a nickname, often simply called T. Rex. It is the leading dinosaur in countless movies and books, subject to huge budget documentaries and captivated people’s imaginations for over 100 years. The first remains were discovered in 1902 in Hell Creek, Montana. Making its first appearance in the movies 16 years later in 1918’s “The Ghost of Slumber Mountain”
This was a difficult one, as Triceratops and Velociraptor were definitely in the running, I’ve gone for T. Rex because of the iconic imagery a certain popular dinosaur-based movie franchise uses in its films to this day. Most importantly (to me at least) Tyrannosaurus Rex was the first dinosaur my son learned to point out. Though at 18 months old it came out garbled as “danasaras ex!”
Round 4 Which came first?
These guys are ancient, with the earliest fossil evidence being as old as 450 million years, during the late Ordovician period. Sharks have seriously evolved as predators, surviving through 4 of the “big five” mass extinction events.
Sharks are even older than trees. Trees are understood to have emerged between 350 to 420 million years ago. Only a few creatures predate sharks, things such as Nautilus, Jellyfish, Ctenophores and Sponges.
Nyasasaurus parringtoni is currently believed to be the oldest dinosaur. Remains discovered in Tanzania are roughly 243 million years old. Footprints were found from early dinosauriforms dating to the early Triassic nearly 250 million years ago.
Sharks date back much longer than dinosaurs, a whole 200 million years!
It’s still difficult to choose, they’re both pretty cool! We still share our planet with a whole range of sharks that aren’t too dissimilar to their ancient counterparts. The fact that we can still respectfully admire these creatures means I’m going to go with the Sharks!
The winner is:
Due to environmental pressures such as climate change and the human impact on their habitats, 1 in 3 Sharks and Rays face the threat of extinction.
We can still do a lot to save and coexist harmoniously with sharks around the world. We should do all we can to look after them. They’ve survived some serious extinction events before, I believe we shouldn’t be responsible for them disappearing now.
If you would like to help in the effort to save sharks check out these organisations:
Bite-Back: Set up in 2004 with the aim of combating overfishing and overconsumption of wild sea fish.
The Shark Trust: Who makes it their mission to safeguard the future of sharks through positive change. Achieving this through science, education, influence and action.