Oldest Evidence for Dinosaurs in Tiny Footprints





Footprints found in 250-million-year-old rocks suggest dinosaurs evolved a few million years after Earth's most severe extinction event to date.

The earliest known fossils associated with dinosaurs have been identified in 250-million-year-old rocks from Poland.

The fossils -- footprints made by dinosaur relatives known as dinosauromorphs -- suggest that dinosaurs evolved from small, four-legged animals that lived during the Early Triassic just a few million years after the "Great Dying," Earth's most severe extinction event to date.

The finding was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Brusatte and colleagues Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki and Richard Butler analyzed multiple fossilized animal tracks dating from the Early and Middle Triassic at the Holy Cross Mountains in southern Poland, an exciting new frontier for early dinosaur research....



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