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Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Science |

Are the remains of the oldest dinosaur ever known

Are the remains of the oldest dinosaur ever known

A group of paleontologists from the University of Washington has found what may be the remains of the oldest ever known . A finding that completely alter the data had on its evolution.

The study was published in Biology Letters and Nyasasaurus parringtoni describes as a new species that have lived between 10 and 15 million years before the dinosaur specimens that had occurred earlier.

According to the researchers, it would creatures that walked on two legs and measuring about 2 to 3 feet long with a big tail and weighing approximately 60 kg. A finding that also suggests that many millions of years passed between the first dinosaurs and their dominion over the Earth.

According to Paul Barrett, co-author of the History Museum of London:

This meeting fills a gap between what is known of the oldest dinosaurs and their closest relatives. There was a large gap in the fossil record of dinosaurs, about the time they were present, and this fossil fills that void perfectly.

Still, the team behind the study says that the name is not final parringtoni Nyasasaurus for input as the first dinosaur on Earth. The reason is that the fossil skeletons were incomplete analyzed to define, only one outer arm bone and six vertebrae.

And is that the early evolution of these creatures is complicated by the variety of reptiles that proliferated at the time. In fact, many researchers speak of possible parallel developments, evolutions independent with many of the features that were supposed to dinosaurs.

According to the research team some of the features found in the fossils are clearly dinosaurs. For Sterling Nesbitt, senior author of the research and who led a team that in 2010 reported the discovery of the oldest dinosaur relatives (called silesaurs):

It seems that these creatures share many characteristics with Nyasasaurus parringtoni. These animals were the first of this group which later end up in the first dinosaurs. The new finding could be the time when the two classes were separated from each other.

Barrett ends the report explaining the importance of the find. A story that would indicate that it is possible to close the evolutionary gap, showing that dinosaurs did not begin to dominate the earth in the beginning of the way they did below:

With this study we push the origin of dinosaurs back in time, to a time when many groups of reptiles were evolving. Dinosaurs began as a very significant group of reptiles and after a time in its history, suddenly exploded and took over as the dominant creatures alive for nearly 100 million years.