New fossil helps solidify dino origins

Remains of a dog-sized creature support idea of dinosaurs' South American origin and early, rapid evolution

By Sid Perkins, 14:00 PM December 11, 2009

Fossils of a small carnivorous dinosaur unearthed in New Mexico back up the idea that all dinosaurs originated in what is now South America, evolved quickly and then dispersed from their homeland.

The newly described species, a theropod dinosaur dubbed Tawa hallae, lived about 213 million years ago, says Sterling J. Nesbitt, a paleontologist at the University of Texas at Austin. A complete and exceptionally preserved skeleton of a juvenile indicates that the creature had a body roughly the ...

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