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Meet the world's newest dinosaur - just 230 million years old

A team in Argentina says it’s discovered a distant relative of the Tyrannosaurus – but about 4 feet in height.

An early model of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The newly-discovered creature may be an early ancestor of the most feared dinosaur.
An early model of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The newly-discovered creature may be an early ancestor of the most feared dinosaur.
Image: Ian Nicholson/PA Archive

SCIENTISTS SAY they may have discovered the world’s newest dinosaur – a four-foot creature that last walked Earth some 230 million ago.

The Eodramaeus (or “dawn runner”) was a two-legged creature standing about 1.2m (just under four feet) in height and weight between four and six kilograms (or less than a stone), researchers say, in this week’s issue of Science magazine.

The team says that the new finding – which came in the form of two specimens, which when put together form an almost complete skeleton – show that dinosaurs didn’t outcompete other reptiles, but just became their replacements after other creatures died out.

The BBC reports that the bones were first uncovered in Argentina in 1996, and that it had taken this long for the fossilised bones to be reconstructed from fragments, and that the age of the creature – which dates from the earliest part of the Triassic period, at the dawn of the Dinosaur Age – mean it’s likely that the Eodramaeus‘s blood line is what ultimately led to the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

“It was a predator,” says Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, who led the team. “We know that from the grasping hands, but also especially from the long curved teeth. It was a meat-eater.”

Read more at the BBC >

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Gavan Reilly

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