World’s Oldest Dinosaur Found in Tanzania
TNI Bureau: A new study has found examining the fossils of a dinosaur that had been unearthed in Tanzania that the giant animal had lived 243 million years ago and may be the oldest dinosaur ever found.
This animal named as ‘Nyasasaurus parringtoni’ had a five foot-long tail, a long neck and had a 10 feet size foot. The animal existed in the Earth about 10 million years before the current oldest dinosaur was living as per the researchers.
The fossils were discovered by Rex Parrington, a University of Cambridge paleontologist. So the creature has been named as ‘Nyasasaurus parringtoni’ as per his name. ‘Nyasa’ in the name means Lizard and rest of the term is as per the founder’s name.
From this latest research it is evident that dinosaurs emerged in relatively small size before some species grew to larger sizes. Lead author of the research work Sterling Nesbitt, a University of Washington postdoctoral researcher in biology has reportedly described that they estimated the feet size of the Nyasasaurus to be 10 feet long experimenting on the few preserved bones and comparing it with those of the dinosaurs that we already know.
Co-author of the study, Paul Barrett, vice president of The Paleontological Society and head of the Natural History Museum’s Division of Fossil Vertebrates, Anthropology and Micropaleontology explains that dinosaurs are distinguished from other reptiles by rapid growth and certain bone characteristics. He explains that the bone tissues that Nyasasaurus had, are normally seen in animals that grow quickly, like some mammals or birds.
An upper arm enlarged mass of bone, called an elongated deltopectoral crest, in the fossils, was also identified which confirms that the giant animal belong to the dinosaurs family.
The study disproves the older idea that dinosaur diversity existed in the Late Triassic years and instead suggests that dinosaurs were living at an earlier age in the time of the archosaurs, which were the dominant land animals during the Triassic period 250 million to 200 million years ago.
However, the study found that Nyasasaurus was having with some features of birds. The rocks that produced Nyasasaurus have also yielded giant fossil amphibians, fossils for reptiles, and fossils of cynodonts and dicynodonts, which were early mammals.
While Nyasasaurus has been accepted as a dinosaur-like animal, which existed in an earlier time in the evolutionary tree, but the species cannot be termed as either the father or the mother of the dinosaurs and birds since the sex of the animal is yet to be found. However, scientists believe that more study on the subject will reveal more amazing facts in the future in this context.