international team of paleontologists led Virginia Tech University (USA) Discover and shoot New primitive dinosaurthe oldest known Africa So far, as published in Nature magazine.
The skeleton of this new type of sauropodomorph (A long necked dinosaur), newly named Mbiresaurus raathi, was first found mostly intact by a graduate student in Virginia Tech’s Department of Earth Sciences and other paleontologists over the course of two excavations, in 2017 and 2019.
It is estimated that Animal measures 1.80 meters And it has a long tail. He weighed between 3 and 30 kilograms. The skeleton, which lost only part of the hand and parts of the skull, was found in the north Zimbabwe.
“Discovery of a genetic episaurus fills a critical geographic gap in the fossil record The oldest dinosaurs and demonstrates the power of hypothesis-based fieldwork to test predictions about the ancient past,” explains Christopher Griffin, a 2020 graduate with a Ph. Virginia Tech College of Science.
“These are the oldest known definitive dinosaurs from Africa, roughly equivalent in age The oldest dinosaurs have been found anywhere in the world.” The oldest known dinosaurs (about 230 million years ago, Carronian stage late Triassic) are extremely rare and have only been found from a few locations around the world, especially northern Argentina, southern Brazil and India.”
Stirling Nisbet, associate professor of Earth sciences, and also an author of the study, notes that “Early dinosaurs such as ‘Meperisaurus hereditary’ show that early dinosaur evolution continues to write with each new discovery and that the emergence of dinosaurs was more complex than expected.”
The international team that participated in this discovery consists of Paleontologists at the National Museums and Archeology of Zimbabweand museum zimbabwe natural history and the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil).
“This is an exciting and very important discovery of a dinosaur in Zimbabwe, and we have watched the scientific process with great pride,”
A variety of Carnian-era fossils have been found alongside Mpirisaurus, including the hierisaurus, early mammalian relatives such as cynodonts, armored crocodile relatives such as aetosaurs, and, in Griffin’s description, “strange and ancient reptiles.” rhyncosaurids, also commonly found in South America and India from the same period.
According to their findings, Mperisaurus stood on two legs and had a relatively small head, like that of its dinosaur relatives. It had small, jagged, triangular-shaped teeth, indicating that it was a herbivore or likely carnivore.
“We never expected to find such a complete and well-preserved dinosaur skeleton,” says Griffin, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University. “When I found the meperisaurus femur, I immediately realized it belonged to a dinosaur and knew I had on my hands the oldest dinosaur ever Finding it in Africa When I dug further and found my left femur next to my left femur, I had to stop and take a deep breath: I knew a lot of the skeleton might have been there, still articulated at the site of life.
In addition to the discovery of Mbiresaurus, the group of researchers also has A new theory about the migration of dinosaursincluding when and where.
Africa, like all continents, was part of a giant subcontinent called Pangea. The climate of Pangea is believed to have been divided into strong wet and dry linear belts, with milder belts at higher latitudes and severe deserts in the low equatorial regions of Pangea. Previously, Griffin remembers, scientists believed that these climatic belts influenced and restricted the distribution of animals across Pangea.
He continued, “Since the dinosaurs initially dispersed under this climatic pattern, the early dinosaur dispersal was assumed to be latitude-controlled. The oldest dinosaurs were known from roughly the same ancient latitudes along the climate belt.” temperate south than it was at the time. About 50 degrees south.
Griffin and other members of the paleobiology and geology research group at Virginia Tech have purposely focused on northern Zimbabwe, since the country lies along this same climatic belt, leading to a geographic bridge between southern Brazil and India during the late Triassic period.
Moreover, these early dinosaurs were restricted to climatic variances south of Pangea, and only later in their history did they spread all over the world. To bolster this claim, the research team developed a new data approach to test this climatic dispersal barrier hypothesis based on paleogeography and the dinosaur family tree. The collapse of these barriers, and a wave of northward dispersal, coincided with a period of intense global moisture, or the Carnian Pluvial event.
After that, the barbs re-emerged and the dinosaurs, from all over the world, remained in various provinces throughout Pangea for the rest of the Triassic period, according to the team. “This two-pronged approach combines hypothesis-based predictive fieldwork with statistical methods to support the hypothesis that early dinosaurs were climatically restricted to only a few regions of the world,” Griffin explains.
Brennen, who also holds a Ph.D. in the Department of Earth Sciences, helped build the data model. “The early history of dinosaurs was an important set of these kinds of problems. Not only do we have a lot of physical data from fossils, but also geochemical data that previously gave a really good idea of when the major deserts existed,” he points out.
“This is an exciting and important dinosaur discovery for Zimbabwe.“We watched the scientific process with pride,” said Moira Fitzpatrick, director of the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe.
The discovery of Mpirisaurus also marks another milestone for the paleobiology and geology research group. In 2019, Nisbet wrote an article detailing the dinosaur Tyrannosaurid Suskityrannus HazelaeRecently set. Nesbitt discovered the fossil at the age of 16 when he was a high school student participating in an expedition in New Mexico in 1998.
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