Nyasasaurus

Name: Nyasasaurus ‭(‬Nyaza lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Nee-ah-sah-sore-us.
Named By: Sterling J.‭ ‬Nesbitt,‭ ‬Paul M.‭ ‬Barrett,‭ ‬Sarah Werning,‭ ‬Christian A.‭ ‬Sidor‭ & ‬Alan J.‭ ‬Charig‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.
Synonyms: Thecodontosaurus alophos.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauriformes.‭
Species: N.‭ ‬parringtoni‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain.
Size: Up to about‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Tanzania‭ ‬-‭ ‬Manda Formation.
Time period: Anisian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial skeleton including vertebrae,‭ ‬and right humerus.

       Nyasasaurus made headlines all around the world when it was discovered,‭ ‬because this genus might just represent the oldest dinosaur so far discovered.‭ ‬Nyasasaurus has the right number of sacral vertebrae expected,‭ ‬and the humerus does display rapid growth patterns just like those known from other dinosaur genera.‭ ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬the overall incompleteness of the Nyasasaurus‭ ‬holotype means that it is impossible to be certain if it actually is a dinosaur.‭ ‬If not,‭ ‬then Nyasasaurus would still be a reptile that came very close to actually being one.‭ ‬Future discoveries will likely shed more light upon exactly when and how dinosaurs finally split from their archosaur ancestors.

Further reading
-‭ ‬The oldest dinosaur‭? ‬A Middle Triassic dinosauriform from Tanzania,‭ ‬Sterling J.‭ ‬Nesbitt,‭ ‬Paul M.‭ ‬Barrett,‭ ‬Sarah Werning,‭ ‬Christian A.‭ ‬Sidor‭ & ‬Alan J.‭ ‬Charig‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.



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