Scientists have discovered a dinosaur that’s so old it pushes back the timeline of dinosaurs a good ten million years. From off in the distance, I can hear Lee squee.
Paleontologists have discovered and identified what they believe to be the oldest dinosaur on record. The new species, which they’ve named Nyasasaurus parringtoni, is so old that researchers aren’t quite yet ready to call it a dinosaur.
The fossilized bones were discovered back in the 1930s, but they must’ve just been misfiled or otherwise tossed into a pile of other bones for some time, as only now have they undergone extensive testing. They believe the Nyasasaurs would be considered either a dinosaur itself, or a “missing link” — the closest known relative to the dinosaurs.
About 10 to 15 million years in the Middle Triassic, the Nyasasaurus was walking around, which may push back when scientists believe the dinosaurs were hanging around. The project was led by Sterling Nesbitt, a postdoctoral biology researcher at the University of Washington.
They were walking around when the earth looked kinda like this:
I mean, not flat, but the continents were all squished together.
Nyasasaurus was a herbivore, about the size of a dog, which means we can dream of a day where you had a Labrador-sized dinosaur. Awesome.
Imagine a Nyasasaur just hanging out on the back lawn, catching a tennis ball and running it back to you. And then eating all of your plants.
Question: What dinosaur would you like to see shrunk down to dog size and petified?