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World's oldest dinosaur fossil discovered in a museum

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Scientists have identified a new species that may have lived 15 million years earlier than any other known dinosaur. The remains were actually found around 80 years ago but, after an inconclusive study in the 1950s, have sat in the archives of the Natural History Museum in London ever since. It's been dubbed nyasasaurus parringtoni, after the southern-African Lake Nyasa (the former name for Lake Malawi), where the remains were found, and Cambridge University's Rex Parrington, who made the initial discovery.

It's believed the Nyasasaurus lived in the middle-Triassic period around 245 million years ago, measured 6 - 10 feet long, and walked on two legs. Until now, dinosaurs were often cited as appearing roughly 230 million years ago. The discovery fills a gap in the fossil record and will hopefully lead to further insight into the evolutionary history of the dinosaurs in general.

The Verge
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