New Contender for Oldest Dinosaur
Palaeontologists have found what is likely to be the oldest known dinosaur, filling in a yawning evolutionary gap. A study in Biology Letters describes Nyasasaurus parringtoni, a new species from 10-15 million years before the previous earliest dinosaur specimens. It walked on two legs, measured 2-3m in length with a large tail and weighed between 20 and 60kg.
The find suggests that many millions of years passed between dinosaurs’ first members and their dominance on land. “It fills a gap between what we previously knew to be the oldest dinosaurs and their other closest relatives,” report co-author Paul Barrett, of the Natural History Museum in London, told BBC News.