What is the oldest dinosaur fossil ever found?
Paleontologists have for about 150 years suggested dinosaurs existed in the Middle Triassic, as the oldest dinosaur fossils fit into the Late Triassic period.
The oldest dinosaurs yet discovered date back nearly 230m years to the Late Triassic epoch. Fossils of Herrerasaurus and Eoraptor were discovered in Argentina; both were bipedal carnivores (meat-eaters that walked on two legs), and small in comparison to the giant dinosaurs that would follow.
- The first living things on Earth, single-celled micro-organisms or microbes lacking a cell nucleus or cell membrane known as prokaryotes, seem to have first appeared on Earth almost four billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the formation of the Earth itself.
- The Eight Deadliest Dinosaurs
- Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. Recent research has shown Spinosaurus aegyptiacus is most likely the largest species of carnivorous dinosaur that ever lived, measuring over 50 feet long.
- Velociraptor mongoliensis.
- Tyrannosaurus rex.
- Mapusaurus roseae.
- Ankylosaurus magniventris.
- 230 million years ago
A newly-described fossil found decades ago in Tanzania extends the dawn of the dinosaurs more than 10 million years further back in time. Named Nyasasaurus parringtoni, the roughly 243-million-year-old fossils represent either the oldest known dinosaur or the closest known relative to the earliest dinosaurs.
- Dinosaurs are in the reptile group, which includes turtles, crocodiles, birds, lizards, and snakes. Of these groups of animals, second to birds, crocodiles are probably the closest related to dinosaurs (though they are not considered modern dinosaurs themselves, unlike birds).
- This catastrophic impact—called the Cretaceous/Tertiary orK/T extinction event—spelled doom for the dinosaurs and many other species. Some animals, however—including many small mammals—managed to survive. Mammals, in contrast, could eat insects and aquatic plants, which were relatively abundant after the meteor strike.
- Non-bird dinosaurs lived between about 245 and 66 million years ago, in a time known as the Mesozoic Era. This was many millions of years before the first modern humans, Homo sapiens, appeared. Scientists divide the Mesozoic Era into three periods: the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.
Non-bird dinosaurs lived between about 245 and 66 million years ago, in a time known as the Mesozoic Era. This was many millions of years before the first modern humans, Homo sapiens, appeared. Scientists divide the Mesozoic Era into three periods: the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.
- Dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago (at the end of the Cretaceous Period), after living on Earth for about 165 million years.
- A fossilised skeleton of a meat-eating Jurassic dinosaur found on a south Wales beach is being revealed to the public for the first time. The small theropod dinosaur - a distant cousin of the giant Tyrannosaurus rex - was uncovered by spring storms in 2014 at Lavernock, Vale of Glamorgan.
Updated: 2nd October 2019