So I'm still wondering if humans could survive with dinosaurs. There are some big problems I see. Here they are:

Food Production

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This isn't so much a problem with planting and the plants growing as it is with big herbivorous dinosaurs eating the plants including the fruits. This would be a major problem, The tallest herbivorous dinosaur is Sauroposeidon at 18.5 meters tall. This means that to guarantee that food is produced, the fence surrounding the civilization would have to be just a little taller than Sauroposeidon is.

But more likely is for ceratopsians such as Triceratops and stegosaurs such as Stegosaurus to eat all the plants including tree saplings to the point that no food is produced than for a very tall sauropod to eat the leaves of a tall tree.


enter image description here

This is possibly the biggest problem of all of them. If humans are just starting a civilization on a planet that is full of dinosaurs, it is inevitable that big carnivores like T rex would find them with their great sense of smell and vision. But humans don't weigh much compared to a T rex and probably would not be a threat or prey to T rex. Height of a T rex would be up to 5 times taller than that of a human. A much more likely predator is something like Utahraptor, about the height of a human and about 10 times as heavy. That or possibly a juvenile T rex.


I honestly don't know if dinosaurs could be domesticated for protection or to help the humans hunt. But I do know that the big dinosaurs(as in bigger than a human in height) that could possibly be domesticated, would pretty much all be herbivores.

So assuming some technology is given to help humans and the plants they grow not get overheated, could a human civilization survive on a planet full of dinosaurs given that there are all these major problems like predation and herbivores eating all the plants that would be producing food for humans?


Okay, quite a few people have asked what technological level the humans are at. Well these humans were on a generation ship before so I would assume space age level. Someone has also asked for which dinosaurs there are on this planet. I don't think I can specify every single dinosaur but I do know that on this planet are dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous that aliens have transported from Earth to this planet that they have survived on to the modern day.

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    $\begingroup$ Only question I have... would they do well with Lexington style BBQ or vinegar based or ketchup based or $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2018 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ Who, the humans or the dinosaurs? $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Jun 1, 2018 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ some technology What does that mean exactly ? There's a heck of a difference between the ability to make e.f. copper implements and the ability to make nuclear weapons. ? $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2018 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ Early humans managed to survive lots of big, nasty, hungry predators...and hordes of herbivores...and full-on ice ages. I had domesticated dinosaur (chicken) for lunch. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jun 2, 2018 at 1:45
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    $\begingroup$ The pictures are just random and don't really add to the Q, do they? $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Jun 2, 2018 at 9:21

5 Answers 5


I am pretty sure humans would deal with the problem in the usual way used when colonizing any other land: lead the unwanted species close to extinction, then enclose the remaining ones into a protected area and cry environmentalist slogans.

Don't forget that naked apes equipped only with stick and stones have been able to take rid of some nasty beasts like the saber tooth tiger, the mammoth, the cave bear. Some slow growing dinosaurs with no human intellect are no serious treat to a determined group of sapiens.

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    $\begingroup$ Yep we'd slaughter them. $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Jun 2, 2018 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ ...and then add some dry rub. Mmmmm...... $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2018 at 10:57

The difference is we can adapt over generations

Dinosaurs have been on the planet for 250,000,000 years.

Modern humans have only been around for around 300,000.

It is a question to this day as to why dinosaurs did not create evidence of cities, technology and cultivation. They certainly had the time to do it - in comparison we humans have achieved these things in a fraction of the time they existed on the planet.

One theory is that our ability to transfer knowledge down generations, instead of simply within one, was the revolutionary step to allow knowledge to slowly accumulate and grow in time amongst us.

Strong family structures, and later social structures, are thought to enable this to happen, evidenced in primates even today (chimpanzees are known to teach their young several technical skills to enable food gathering). This may be a quality unique to mammals, as reptiles and other animals seem to not readily demonstrate ability to teach their young new skills they learnt in their lifetime.

It is easily conceivable if this ability is still present in your scenario, for knowledge to pass down generations. The nascent human society would grow in technical ability similar to what we have already witnessed (keep in mind we also had predators and difficulties in food production, yet we were able to adapt to these over time). Dinosaurs or not, we would simply adapt to their presence and develop techniques over time to 'work around' them.

As Darwin said, the species that adapts is the best placed to survive.


Well, talking about broad questions.

If you send people off to colonize a planet, you will provide them with everything they will be needing at least to create villages, hydroponic greenhouses, shops... If I were the mind behind the ship, I would make sure that the ship itself can be stripped down to its last piece to be reused on the surface. At this point, the infrastructure will not be a problem.

Defense and Hunting: colonists will be needing weapons. Much as fancy laser gun are a narrative temptation, we must not forget that these guys will be needing as low tech as possible, in order to provide themselves with spare parts. They will have everything they need to learn how to build a new electronic industry, but first they need to survive and assert their dominion in the chosen area. Welcome back, Mr. Smith & Wesson!

Funny enough, dinos, or at least whatever megalitic species is living on this brave new world, won't be the real problem. You are armed, they are big, soon the weapons will make the difference. Also, with one catch you get abundant meat, clothing and other useful organic parts... No, the real catch on this planet will be germs, microbes, viruses. The colonists will be exposed to a plethora of stuff their immune system is not wired to react to. They will have to purify everything before eating or drinking it, make a lots of tests with their animals (sorry!), and even then the first morsel will be a risk. Sure, they will be having all the instruments to analyze stuff, but I wouldn't bet on a safe first period of their new vacation.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 agree, the macroscopic life can be seen and shot, the microscopic life is the potential problem. For a good hard sci-fi novel treating a similar subject, read Legacy of Heorot by Niven, Pournelle and Barnes. The authors had to give the monsters a mass of biological advantages and cripple the colonists with mental deficiencies from cryo-sleep and key infrastructure losses in order to make it a challenge. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2018 at 10:40

For space-age humans, even colonists that do not have a foothold yet on the planet, dinos will not pose a very significant threat. The larger dinos in fact would present less of a long term problem because their numbers and reproduction rates would necessarily be lower. If they are causing problems we will simply cull them. More troublesome might be smaller rodent-analog ones, but they too are unlikely to pose existential threats.

The native dino population would likely be a great benefit as a source of ready protein-rich food though.


There is this youtuber called tierzoo discribing differnet animals and races in depth and in comparison ranked in tiers, maybe you can inform yourself about that.





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    $\begingroup$ Please link to the YouTube channel and include all relevant information directly in your answer. The goal of StackExchange is to have complete answers and not send people onwards on their search for an answer. It's also important that YouTube channels and other links can get outdated, which would leave answers that only rely on them meaningless for future readers. That's why answers like this one or link-only answers can get deleted. Please edit your answer to directly answer the question that was asked here. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jun 12, 2018 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ This is a link-only answer without the link, and only one tiny step away from "just Google it". -1. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 12, 2018 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy done boi $\endgroup$
    – Josef
    Jun 12, 2018 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Josef, it takes a click to delete a video... $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jun 12, 2018 at 10:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Josef It has happened many times in the past leaving StackExchange with dead links -- even 500K vids get pulled down, and for myriad reasons (person who posted gets convicted of rape... caught embezzling from Google... someone finally notices after the vid becomes famous that the video happens to include 31 seconds of copyrighted material putting it outside Fair Use doctrine and triggering a takedown notice). These things happen regularly on YouTube. Sometimes they affect the StackExchange citations, so we try to shield from that. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Jun 12, 2018 at 11:24

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