Every other week or so, it seems, brings a new insight into the lives of the dinosaurs. So far this year we’ve learned that some dinosaurs performed mating dances, while others used their mohawk-like crests to attract a partner. How do we know? The truth is, it’s mostly informed guessing based on clues like claw marks in the ground and the behavior of modern animals. Dinosaurs really didn’t leave us much to work with, aside from their bones. Human beings, on the other hand—well, we’re leaving quite a bit more. In the video above from It’s Okay to Be Smart, host Joe Hanson enumerates the many marks we’re making here on planet Earth.
Those fingerprints are so numerous, so diverse, and so indelible that some geologists refer to modern times as the Anthropocene—a whole new epoch of human impact on the world. Actions like mining and nuclear warfare and inventions like plastic and glass actually alter the chemical composition of the ground beneath our feet and the air we breathe.
A million years from now, Hanson says, humans will be long gone, whether by migration to some other world, or by extinction. Which means someday, visitors to Earth might just look at our landfills and the remains of our atomic explosions and conclude that it was all just an elaborate mating dance.
Images via YouTube // It's Okay to Be Smart.