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This question was answered on Tue 12, May 2009 10:46am by admin

Question: A reptile/dinosaur race on earth that was the dominant race before man.

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Asked by tracey79 on Tue 12, May 2009 09:09am :
I read this short story about 15 years ago in a school text book. It was
about a dominant reptile race that was on earth before man. They were
intelligent like man and ended up killing themselves off leaving the earth
available for man to become the dominant race.
I remember that a human some how went back in time and discovered them.
This man witnessed them killing off the other reptiles and dinosaurs and he
stated that this was the true reason the dinosaurs went extinct, not a
meteor or any other theory.
He came back to his own time and told a friend about what he had
experienced and told him about the dinosaurs. His friend did not believe
him and argued that if there had been such a race before man, some sign of
it would have been discovered.
The man who went back in time replied that if man destroyed themselves, how
much evidence of man's existence would be left after 100 million years?
This was the end of the story.
I remember that it was in a collection of short stories that included "the
sniper" and "the most dangerous game" and that the book had a brown cover.
I don't really care about that particular book but I would like to know the
name of this story, if anyone can help me.
Thank you
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Answer by admin on Tue 12, May 2009 10:46am:

The story sounds like "Day of the Hunters" (1950) by Isaac Asimov.

Various descriptions of the story, "Day of the Hunters":

"A group of technicians in a bar meet whom they assume to be a drunken
down-and-out. It slowly emerges that he's an ex-university professor who
has not only built a time machine but has traveled back to the Mesozoic era
to see for himself what happened to cause extinction of the dinosaurs.
Slowly getting more drunk and belligerent, he comes out with the story that
all the large lizards had already vanished and the only ones left were
small dinosaurs armed with guns, who are systematically wiping out their
own kind until there are none left to kill."

"In his short story Day of the Hunters, Isaac Asimov describes a race of
intelligent dinosaurs, standing 1m 20 tall on their hind legs,
counterbalanced by a long tail and armed with advanced weaponry.
These dinosauroids were the first intelligent race on Earth, and they were
a bloodthirsty lot. Using their superior technology, they eradicated all
the other dinosaurs, simply for the pleasure of killing. Afterwards, they
turned on each other in a series of bloodthirsty wars that eventually wiped
them out, without a trace."

"Day of the Hunters" is available in the following anthologies:

Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Volume 2 (1992)

"Dinosaurs" (1996)

science fiction
short stories
dinosaurs - fiction


Comment by tracey79 on Tue 12, May 2009 07:31pm:
This sounds like it. Thank you very much!


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