Dinosaurs are fascinating pre historic creatures, they roamed the planet between 243 and 231 million years ago, during the Triassic (before Jurassic) period. They became the dominant land animals near the beginning of the Jurassic period. They were on Earth right up to the end of the Cretaceous period when they were extinct, which was around 66 million years ago. This means that they were on Earth for far longer than they’ve been extinct.
Dinosaur fossils appeared continually throughout the history of life, they have doubtless been dug up for hundreds of years but what are oldest Dinosaurs discovered?
Let’s look at some of the oldest dinosaurs discovered:
- Nyasasaurus Parringtoni – about 243 million years old
Nyasasaurus lived in the southern continent of Pangaea during the early Triassic period. This reptile measured about 10 feet from head to tail, which may seem enormous by Triassic standards, except for the fact that fully five feet of that length was taken up by its unusually long tail. Since a skull has not yet been discovered, no one knows what the animal ate.
- Chindesaurus – around 235 – 210 million years old
Chindesaurus was a meat-eater. It lived in the Triassic period and lived in North America. Chindesaurus had a body that was not too big, about 10 feet long and 20-30 pounds in weight. Its legs were long and had a whiplike tail.
- Staurikosaurus – 23 million years old
With two rows of big bony plates running along its back, and a cluster of lethal spikes at the end of its tail, Staurikosaurus certainly was a distinctive dinosaur. Staurikosaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived in the Triassic period. Its fossils have been found in Brazil. Staurikosaurus was about 6½ feet (2 meters) in length, stood about 2½ feet (80 centimeters) tall at the hips.
- Saturnalia Tupiniquim – 233.23 million years old
The Saturnalia was a meat eater from the Triassic period. Its fossils were discovered in both South America and Africa. The size of the Saturnalia was similar to that of a small dog (about 1.5 meters (5 ft) long)). It was a quick creature; this compensated for its petite size. It could stand up on its back legs.
- Herrerasaurus Ischigualastensis – 231.4 million years old
Herrerasaurus was a bipedal (could stand on two back feet) carnivore that was approximately 20 feet long, 3 feet high at the hip and probably weighed around 700 pounds. It also had a stretched out narrow skull that was filled with dozens of serrated teeth for cutting and tearing the flesh of its prey. This dinosaur also had a small front arms that were about half the length of its back legs. The fossils of the creature were first discovered by a goat herder named Victorino Herrera in the Ishigualasto region, San Juan Province, in the north-western part Argentina, where they are thought to have lived.
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