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Have scientists found the oldest dinosaur ?

Posted on Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 | Comment icon 4 comments | News tip by: Render

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Fossil remains discovered in Tanzania are being hailed as that of the oldest dinosaur ever found.

The fossil of the Labrador sized Nyasasaurus parringtoni dates back as long as 15 million years earlier than any other find, pushing the appearance of the dinosaur lineage back further than ever before to the mid-Triassic era. "If the newly named Nyasasaurus parringtoni is not the earliest dinosaur, then it is the closest relative found so far," said study author Sterling Nesbitt.

The fossils have helped to piece together not only what this particular species would have been like but it's place in the transition from earlier species to dinosaurs. "The bone tissue of Nyasasaurus is exactly what we would expect for an animal at this position on the dinosaur family tree," said co-author Sarah Werning. "It's a very good example of a transitional fossil."

"Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Skeptic Chicken on 5 December, 2012, 15:56
WOOOOOOOOOOOO! My apologies, I forgot how awesome my country was.
Comment icon #2 Posted by King Fluffs on 5 December, 2012, 16:06
I bet they will find an older one...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 6 December, 2012, 5:09
very interesting find
Comment icon #4 Posted by SameerPrehistorica on 9 December, 2012, 17:02
Sometimes they do find oldest dinosaurs.Seems like Dinosaurs lived more than 180 million years.Can someone set the Triassic period from 225 million years

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