Monday, January 17, 2011

230 Million year old 4' dinosaur - predicessor to T-Rex

New research has unveiled a previously unknown carnivorous dinosaur from 230 million years ago, making it one of two of the earliest dinosaurs known. Dubbed Eodromaeus, the pint sized two legged animal fills an important niche in the story of early dinosaur evolution. Eodromaeus is the second fossil found in the same area in the same strata of rock. Almost identical to Eoraptor uncovered in the early 1990s, Eodromaeus shows evidence of being a meat eater while Eoraptor was quite possibly a plant eater. These two dinosaurs, almost identical but actually two separate species puts them both at the very dawn of dinosaur evolution when plant eaters split from their carnivorous cousins. Though the genetic lineages would continue for another 165 million years, Eodromaeus was paving the way for the mega-meat - eaters like Tyrannosaurus rex, while Eoraptor's linage led to the big plant eaters like Diplodocus and Apatosaurus.

Reuters article Mail Online article

Thanks to Dan for the Article

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