Contender for world’s oldest dinosaur identified

Contender for world’s oldest dinosaur identified

African specimen suggests lineage may have arisen 15 million years earlier than thought

By Tanya Lewis, 11:24 AM December 5, 2012

What may be the most ancient dinosaur ever found — or at least a very close relative to the oldest currently known examples — could push the appearance of the awesome beasts back to 243 million years ago.

Paleontologist Rex Parrington of the University of Cambridge in England discovered the fossil in the early 1930s, preserved in a rock formation known as the Manda Beds in Tanzania’s Ruhuhu Valley. Now, a team of scientists has taken a fresh look at Nyasasaurus parringtoni. It lived during...

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