Dinosauromorphs showed up too late to be Permian extinction success story
Image courtesy of Victor Leshyk
Dinosaurs arrived hot on the tails of their more ancient relatives, reptiles called dinosauromorphs, a new study shows.
New dating of a dinosauromorph fossil layer in a geologic formation in Argentina reveal that it’s between 5 million and 10 million years younger than previously thought. That means dinosaurs and their dinosauromorph predecessors were separated by a gap of less than 5 million years, half the time previously thought. The timescale change suggests that dinosaurs evolved relatively rapidly, and that early dinosauromorphs probably weren’t part of life’s repopulation after a major mass extinction 252 million years ago, scientists report online December 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“It’s a very exciting result,” says Paul Olsen, a paleontologist at Columbia University not involved with the study. “It