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Viewings: 5315Group of paleontologists believed that she was able to identify the age of the famous dinosaur - a creature no bigger than a Labrador Retriever that lived about 243 million years ago. It is at least 10 million years older than the oldest known dinosaurs.
The discovery could change the opinion of the researchers on how developed this natured. At the same time some scientists, including the authors of the study, warned that the fossils may actually refer to a close relative of the dinosaurs.
To trace the emergence of the dinosaurs is not easy. The most ancient copies usually incomplete, and specialists may not always agree on their evolutionary origin. And yet paleontologists agree that tiny samples Eoraptor and Eodromaeus age 230 million years, was found in Argentina, and indeed are dinosaurs. And in 2010 sterling Nesbitt from the University of Washington (USA) and his colleagues announced the opening of a relative of the dinosaurs in Tanzania in geological formations Manda, whose age is estimated at 242-245 million years. This sample is called Asilisaurus. It belongs to the so-called sister taxon, that is nearest to the dinosaurs.
The discovery made by Mr. Nesbitt and its adherents to look through other instances of Manda. One of them, including bone front leg and several vertebrae, was discovered in the 1930s and for decades was studied famous paleontologist Alan CARICOM from London's natural history Museum (UK), who died in 1997. Charig called sample Nyasasaurus, but has not decided whether it was a dinosaur (at least nothing on this account has not published).
The researchers compared these fossilized bones Nyasasaurus of the South African Museum in Cape town, as well as other dinosaurs and their relatives. Found a number of characteristics typical of a true dinosaur. For example, Nyasasaurus has a wide bone ridge at the edge of the shoulder, which had joined the chest muscles of the animal; this ridge is more than 30% of the length of the dice is a characteristic feature of the dinosaurs. In addition, the sacrum Nyasasaurus there are three vertebrae, while the ancestors of dinosaurs are only two. And microscopic examination of the bones of the front limbs, made under the guidance of Sary Warning from the University of California, Berkeley, showed that the animal grew very rapidly: it is typical for the planet and later appearing mammals and birds.
The combination of these factors is a very strong argument (although not complete, because the front leg of incomplete). Besides eoraptor and etrumeus, who lived at least 10 million years later, already represented different groups that were to evolve over millions of years. Nyasasaurus are a good candidate for the role of early dinosaur, especially as a very close relative of dinosaur utilizar lived in the same places and at about the same time.
This does not mean that dinosaurs originated in Africa. At that time it was part of Pangaea along with South America, Antarctica and Australia.
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