The oldest dinosaur in Africa discovered in northern Zimbabwe

An artist's illustration of what Mbiresaurus raathi, Africa's oldest discovered dinosaur, would have looked like.

A team of paleontologists have discovered a new early-to-date skeleton, the oldest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Africa. It is estimated that hereditary meperisaurus It was a long-necked dinosaur that measured about 6 feet in length and weighed between 10 and 30 kilograms. A graduate student at Virginia Tech discovered the mostly untouched fossil in northern Zimbabwe and it was discovered during two digs in 2017 and 2019.

The search results were Published in the magazine temper nature in August. The skeleton is missing only some dinosaur hands and parts of the skull. The international team that was part of the research includes paleontologists from the National Museums and Archeology of Zimbabwe, the Museum of Natural History of Zimbabwe, and the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Discovery hereditary meperisaurus It fills a critical geographic gap in the fossil record of the oldest dinosaurs and demonstrates the power of hypothesis-based fieldwork to test predictions about the ancient past. These are the oldest known definitive dinosaurs of Africa, roughly equivalent in age to the oldest dinosaurs found anywhere in the world. The oldest known dinosaurs – approximately 230 million years ago, Carnian stage in the late Triassic period – are extremely rare and have only been recovered from a few places around the world, particularly northern Argentina, southern Brazil and India,” said Christopher Griffin, who discovered the fossil, In a press release.

The researchers’ results indicate that mperisaurus It stands on two legs and has a small head compared to those legs, like many of its dinosaur relatives. The dinosaur had small, serrated triangle-shaped teeth, suggesting that it might have been a herbivore or carnivore.

“We never expected to find such a complete and well-preserved dinosaur skeleton. When I found the femur mperisaurus, I immediately realized that it belonged to a dinosaur and knew I carried the oldest dinosaur ever found in Africa. When I continued digging and found my left hip bone next to my left femur, I had to stop and take a breath – I knew there was probably a lot of the skeleton there, still jointed together in a life position,” Griffin added.

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