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What we can learn from dinosaurs

They were strong. They were powerful. A picture of the ultimate mighty beast, dinosaurs were almost indomitable. Encompassing over 500 diverse species, they could live on land, in water and in air, ruling the planet for over 150 million years. One could have hardly imagined that a natural catastrophe that marked the end of the Mesozoic Era, 66 million years ago, would wipe out this invincible species from the face of the earth.

The mass-extinction of dinosaurs is a much-speculated topic even today. Man has unearthed several of their fossils, put together their pieces, and reconstructed the jigsaw puzzle of their fallen world. Paleontologists believe that massive asteroid impact combined with relentless volcanic eruptions caused rapid climatic changes on the nascent planet. The environment became highly unpredictable and largely uninhabitable. And consequently, several species of dinosaurs lost the fight of life in the climatic shifts of the planet. But, despite such a colossal event of nature, there were still some who managed to survive and evolve into modern-day birds.

As evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin famously said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Indeed, it was adaptability that helped certain species of dinosaurs outlast challenging times and evolve successfully. And it was similar adaptability that allowed Homo Sapiens to evolve amongst several other species in the family of the great apes.

As descendants of this survivor species, and given that we don’t really face life-or-death situations akin to what our ancestors did, adapting to change ought to come effortlessly to us. But, that’s the one thing we perhaps find the hardest to do. For instance, how adaptable are we, say, in day-to-day situations? Be it stepping out of the comfort zone at work or in personal relationships? Perhaps, it is the reluctance to change that has us struggling with adaptability. But, should we take up the challenge anyway? After all, we need adapt to evolve.

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