Dinosaur that roamed Brazil 230 million years ago is considered the 'missing link' in evolution

Dinosaur that roamed Brazil 230 million years ago is considered the ‘missing link’ in evolution

Meet the “great-grandfather” of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus! A dinosaur that roamed Brazil 230 million years ago is considered the “missing link” in the evolution of the world’s largest land animals.

  • Fossilized remains of a new species have been discovered in Brazil.
  • The dinosaur was about seven feet long and walked on two hind legs.
  • The 230-million-year-old new species may be the “missing link” in sauropod evolution, the researchers say.

These are two of the most distinctive dinosaurs to have roamed the Earth, and now the “great-grandfather” of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus has been discovered.

A 230-million-year-old dinosaur discovered in Brazil has been called the “missing link” in the evolution of the world’s largest land animals.

The long-necked creature was one of the first sauropodomorphs, a group that includes legendary giants.

Like Tyrannosaurus, it was bipedal, while its famous herbivorous descendants walked on four legs.

A 230-million-year-old dinosaur found in Brazil has been called the

A 230-million-year-old dinosaur found in Brazil has been called the “missing link” in the evolution of the world’s largest land animals.

“Great-grandfather” of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus

The animal had not yet been given a name, but was about seven feet long.

His neck would help him get more food from ferns and gymnosperms, colorless plants that produce cones and seeds.

Dr Müller said: “The animal had predators, including mammalian precursors the size of a wolf and primitive crocodiles called pseudosuchians.”

It also shared the landscape with other large vertebrates such as fanged reptiles known as dicynodonts.

The dinosaur lived in the Upper Triassic, when South America was still part of the Pangea supercontinent.

Lead author Dr. Rodrigo Müller of the Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil, said: “This is the oldest known dinosaur with an elongated neck, making it the ‘great-grandfather’ of sauropods!

“They grew to very large sizes, they had long necks and tails, they were four-legged and became the largest animals that ever walked the Earth.

“This early sauropodomorph was much smaller, which sheds new light on their evolution. It’s the missing link in the family tree.”

At that time, in addition to achieving a more herbivorous diet, sauropodomorphs were increasing in size.

Dr Müller said: “Their typical long neck was also established, which became proportionately twice as long as in similar animals.”

At the start of their ascent 233 million years ago, they were less than 5 feet long and near rock. Some later reached over 130 feet and 100 tons.

Dr Muller explained: “Dinosaurs found at sites dating back 225 million years were larger, at 13 feet long and over 16 stone.

“This increase in body size occurred over the course of 8 million years and required a number of skeletal adaptations to support a heavier body.”

The timing and order in which these changes occurred is unknown. The new look helps fill the gap.

His remains were recovered from a prehistoric animal cemetery in southern Brazil.

The fossilized bones belonged to a dinosaur that was about seven feet long.

Dr Müller said: “This find provides new insights into what happened to dinosaur skeletons as they got bigger.

The fossilized bones belonged to a dinosaur that was about seven feet long.

The fossilized bones belonged to a dinosaur that was about seven feet long.

His neck would have helped him get more food from ferns and gymnosperms, colorless plants that produce cones and seeds (artist's impression).

His neck would have helped him get more food from ferns and gymnosperms, colorless plants that produce cones and seeds (artist’s impression).

The animal, described in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, has yet to be given a name.

Dr Muller said: “This is one of the oldest ancestors of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus.”

His neck would help him get more food from ferns and gymnosperms, colorless plants that produce cones and seeds.

Dr Müller said: “The animal had predators, including mammalian precursors the size of a wolf and primitive crocodiles called pseudosuchians.”

It also shared the landscape with other large vertebrates such as fanged reptiles known as dicynodonts.

The dinosaur lived in the Upper Triassic, when South America was still part of the Pangea supercontinent.

It is believed that Argentinosaurus was the largest sauropod of all. It was almost the size of a blue whale.

According to experts, in one day it was necessary to eat 100,000 calories – 40 times more than the average person.

SAUROPODS: DINOSAURS WITH LONG NECKS AND SMALL BRAIN

Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs, dominating most terrestrial ecosystems for over 140 million years, from the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous.

They had long necks and tails and relatively small skulls and brains.

They stretched up to 130 feet (40 meters) and weighed up to 80 tons (80,000 kg) – 14 times the weight of an African elephant.

Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs, dominating most terrestrial ecosystems for over 140 million years, from the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous.

Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs, dominating most terrestrial ecosystems for over 140 million years, from the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous.

They were widespread – their remains have been found on every continent except Antarctica.

They had nostrils high on their skulls rather than at the end of their snout like many other land vertebrates.

Some fossils show that these nostril holes were located so high in the skull that they were very close to the eye holes.

Sauropods such as diplodocus began diversifying in the Middle Jurassic around 180 million years ago.

Source: UCLA Museum of Paleontology.

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