On the News | Early dinosaur relative walked like a croc @ BBC News

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Early dinosaur relative walked like a croc


New fossils found in 2015 help fill gaps in our knowledge of how Teleocrater looked. Image Credit: Gabriel Lio (@source)

“One of the earliest relatives of dinosaurs had some features we associate today with crocodiles and alligators, a study suggests.

Many palaeontologists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like, as the fossil record in this time period is sparse.

Some assumed they walked on two legs, looking a bit like miniature dinosaurs.

But the newly described creature walked on four legs like a croc, the journal Nature reports.

The 2-3m (7-10ft) carnivorous animal, unearthed in southern Tanzania, lived some 245 million years ago during the Triassic Period. It pre-dated the earliest dinosaurs.

Prof Paul Barrett, from London’s Natural History Museum, one of the authors on the new paper, said: “This is a little animal that we call Teleocrater. It’s not very big…it probably would have weighed about the same as the average family dog.”

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Visually, it would have looked a bit like a souped-up version of a komodo dragon, crossed maybe with something else. So it would have been a slender animal, not a big armoured thing like a crocodile.”” (…) READ MORE

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