Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Palaeontology

'Pre-reptile' was first to stand on four legs

By T.K. Randall
September 21, 2015 · Comment icon 10 comments



An artist's impression of Bunostegos akokanensis. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 DiBgd
A prehistoric reptile the size of a cow may have been the first to ever stand upright on four limbs.
260 million years ago, during what is known as the Permian era, ground-dwelling reptiles tended to 'sprawl' on the ground like modern lizards and used their legs to haul themselves along.

There was however one species that appeared to defy this behavior - a cow-sized reptile known as Bunostegos akokanensis which may have also been the first to evolve the ability to stand upright.
Unlike that of its sprawling cousins, this four-legged beast possessed forelimb shoulder joints that faced downwards like those of later quadrupeds - enabling it to stand and walk on all four legs.

"The elements and features within the forelimb bones wonít allow a sprawling posture. Thatís unique," said study co-author Morgan Turner of Brown University. "There are many complexities about the evolution of posture and locomotion we are working to better understand every day."

"The anatomy of Bunostegos is unexpected, illuminating and tells us we still have much to learn."

Source: Independent | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Timonthy 7 years ago
Looks like Spike from 'The Land Before Time'.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Razer 7 years ago
Looks like Spike from 'The Land Before Time'. Hehe, I knew I saw that creature somewhere before.
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
The artist gave the critter a cow-like look to his face. I wonder if they would have made good pets?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Immune to Bieberfever 7 years ago
Hmm not sure what the evolutionary advance was for that critter to be walking on all four back in a time when the other creatures didn't! So is he the forefather of the cow in that case i understand the 4 legs, gotta run fast when you taste that good!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Infernal Gnu 7 years ago
I would be beyond THRILLED to see this magnificent creature in real life, even a fleeting glimpse through a wormhole.
Comment icon #6 Posted by psyche101 7 years ago
I find it hard to believe this was the first - it may well be the first found, but there has to be others, it beggars belief that life would grow to the size of a cow before utilising 4 legs.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Everdred 7 years ago
I find it hard to believe this was the first - it may well be the first found, but there has to be others, it beggars belief that life would grow to the size of a cow before utilising 4 legs. It's just a poorly worded headline. They're saying that this is the first creature that stands upright on four legs, i.e. the body is positioned directly above the legs. This is in contrast to previous four-legged creatures where the limbs grow out the side of the torso and then down to the ground (think salamanders, for example). Side legs essentially just evolved out of side fins as the first creatures ... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
Looks like Spike from 'The Land Before Time'. Haha, I thought the same thing!
Comment icon #9 Posted by psyche101 7 years ago
It's just a poorly worded headline. They're saying that this is the first creature that stands upright on four legs, i.e. the body is positioned directly above the legs. This is in contrast to previous four-legged creatures where the limbs grow out the side of the torso and then down to the ground (think salamanders, for example). Side legs essentially just evolved out of side fins as the first creatures crawled out of the water, so the idea here, then, is that this creature evolved a new posture which was more energy efficient for life on land and therefore evolutionary advantageous, allowing... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Stardrive 7 years ago
This thing was big as a cow though, I just can't see it getting that big without ancestors that have the same body plan, the side legged creatures are quite small by comparison, there seems to be a huge gap here. It lived in the late Triassic period about 8 million years before the Permian extinction. I'd say it's ancestors are yet to be discovered. I think fossil finds from the Triassic period are fairly rare so this isn't over yet by a long shot. This creature may not be the first, but it is the first that we know of as of now.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

 Total Posts: 7,333,444    Topics: 301,799    Members: 198,358

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles