Novel Species Discovered that Predates Dinosaurs
Researchers have discovered a new species of reptile that was present before the existence of dinosaurs. The carnivorous reptile has been named Nundasuchus Songeaensis and scientific estimates suggest that it was nine-feet long.
They had sharp teeth and are considered to be the largest reptile to have walked the earth even before dinosaurs. Researchers said the species looked fearsome.
Sterling Nesbitt, an assistant professor of geological sciences at Virginia Tech, was of the view that in 2007 they had discovered a partial skeleton. It took years to put together the bones as there were thousands of pieces.
Despite making three trips to the site, the researchers were not able to recover most of the skull. The species were found in southwestern Tanzania. It was a surprising finding for the research team, as they were looking for prehistoric relatives of birds and crocodiles.
“The reptile itself was heavy-bodied with limbs under its body like a dinosaur, or bird, but with bony plates on its back like a crocodilian”, said Nesbitt. The researchers said that not much is known about the time when the common ancestor of birds and crocodiles were alive. The findings would help them fill in some gaps in the reptile family tree.
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