In the Alps, we found the ancestor of tyrannosaurs. He shed light on the evolution of ancient reptiles
It is believed that large dinosaurs appeared in the middle Jurassic period, about 180 million years ago, and before that dinosaurs roamed much smaller on the ancient Earth. However, the recent discovery of paleontologists can radically change the perception of this time period. Not so long ago on the territory of the Alps discovered the remains of an unknown ancient reptiles that not only lived long before the dinosaurs large, but size does not concede to them.
As the editors PeerJ, the new Raptor was named Saltriovenator zanellai and he lived on the territory of modern Italy, about 200 million years ago. Opening committed group of scientists led by Angelo Zanelli. Total 132 bones of an ancient reptile was found. It is alleged that the age of the dinosaur is about 24 years, which is quite a short time for this size dinosaurs. Weight Saltriovenator zanellai, according to experts, is about 1, 3 tons and 3 meters height. The dinosaur walked on four legs and the length of his body and is 3 meters.
But on the legs themselves should dwell. The fact is that the more ancient dinosaurs in the paws have 5 toes. In the course of evolutionary change in one of them was lost. At the same time we know inhabitants of the middle Jurassic on feet already on the 3 fingers. And here we found Saltriovenator zanellai number of fingers equals 4, which suggests that it is a kind of intermediary between the ancient reptiles, and their more modern descendants.
When the fingers dinosaur could shed light also on that point, what specific finger lost inhabitants of Jurassic in the course of its evolution. In modern language, five-fingered dinosaurs lost their "little finger" and relatives of tyrannosaurs were not "anonymous" finger. Previously it was thought that the second lost finger, most likely, is a "big".
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