Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Lett. 2012 Dec 5;9(1):20120949. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0949. Print 2013 Feb 23.

The oldest dinosaur? A Middle Triassic dinosauriform from Tanzania.

Author information

1
Burke Museum and Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. sjn2104@u.washington.edu

Abstract

The rise of dinosaurs was a major event in vertebrate history, but the timing of the origin and early diversification of the group remain poorly constrained. Here, we describe Nyasasaurus parringtoni gen. et sp. nov., which is identified as either the earliest known member of, or the sister-taxon to, Dinosauria. Nyasasaurus possesses a unique combination of dinosaur character states and an elevated growth rate similar to that of definitive early dinosaurs. It demonstrates that the initial dinosaur radiation occurred over a longer timescale than previously thought (possibly 15 Myr earlier), and that dinosaurs and their immediate relatives are better understood as part of a larger Middle Triassic archosauriform radiation. The African provenance of Nyasasaurus supports a southern Pangaean origin for Dinosauria.

PMID:
23221875
PMCID:
PMC3565515
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2012.0949
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center