According to new findings, dinosaurs evolved faster than it was ever thought.
Scientists believe that dinosaurs evolved from some ancient reptiles which they thought that were living on our planet about 245 million years ago. But new research makes scientists rethink that date, showing that the ancient reptiles were living much closer to the age of the first dinosaurs.
A new paper published on Monday in the National Academy of Sciences’ journal Proceedings shows new evidence that these close relatives of the dinosaurs were living somewhere between 236 to 234 million years ago and the dinosaurs appeared only 5 million years after them, around 231 million years ago.
Paleontologists and evolutionists are still trying to figure out how did the dinosaurs appeared and how did they evolved from the ancient reptiles so they are trying to find out more about these close relatives.
Fossils of the close relatives of dinosaurs were discovered in many places of the world, with one site in Argentina being the most famous.
The Chanares Formation site in Argentina was thought to contain fossils from the period of the Middle Triassic. Yet, after using dating techniques which helped them find out the more exact period of the rocks containing the fossils, scientists determined that these fossils were actually dating since the Late Triassic.
Scientists claim that these relatives are like the aunts, uncles and cousins of dinosaurs in terms of timing. They explain that while sometimes you come to life later than your uncles and aunts, you also live at the same time with your cousins. It seems that these ancient reptiles, named ‘dinosauromorphs’ have lived before the age of dinosaurs but also alongside them for a period.
Researchers are now saying that these dinosauromorphs are not the direct ancestors of the dinosaurs, but they share a common ancestor.
Not only the first dinosaurs and the dinosauromorphs were living at almost the same time and sharing a common ancestor, but they also looked alike. Both species were two to maximum six feet long, walking on two feet that were underneath their body; they both had an upright posture and were mostly carnivores.
Scientists believe that dinosaurs were mostly living in regions with a more temperate and humid environment which was found at higher latitudes on the globe. Even if it is assumed that species evolve as a result of climate change, among other factors, it is not yet clear for researchers which were the changes in the Triassic period that could have led to the evolution of dinosaurs.
Image source: pixabay