•   
  •   

Tech & Science New dinosaur fossil pushes evolution of gigantism in sauropods back 30 million years

00:57  10 july  2018
00:57  10 july  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

Foot of 'World's Oldest Child' Shows How Our Ancestors Moved

  Foot of 'World's Oldest Child' Shows How Our Ancestors Moved The exquisite, 3.3-million-year-old fossil is the only one of its kind ever found.The study, published in Science Advances on Wednesday, takes a close look at the foot of Selam, a 3.3-million-year-old female A. afarensis that died before the age of four. The fossil helps scientists see how A. afarensis feet changed from birth to adulthood, which in turn lets us glean some details about how they grew up.

The discovery of a new dinosaur species suggests gigantism in sauropods evolved about 30 million years earlier than previously thought. But how it walked — and whether it was a sauropod at all — is up for debate.

"A gigantic new dinosaur from Argentina and the evolution of the sauropod hind foot". Now, the discovery of a new dinosaur species suggests gigantism in sauropods evolved about 30 million African fossils dating back to the Late Cretaceous (about 100 million to 66 million years ago) are

A new dinosaur called Ingentia prima appeared to have a air sacs in its neck, shown in this artist's impression in green, and walked on flexed feet.© Provided by ABC News A new dinosaur called Ingentia prima appeared to have a air sacs in its neck, shown in this artist's impression in green, and walked on flexed feet. Think of a plant-eating dinosaur, and chances are you picture something along the lines of a brachiosaurus.

These iconic giants belonged to a group of dinosaurs called sauropods — massive creatures with thick, column-like legs and a long neck and tail.

Now, the discovery of a new dinosaur species suggests gigantism in sauropods evolved about 30 million years earlier than previously thought.

The newly uncovered bones, belonging to a plant-eater dubbed Ingentia prima, also suggest that there were a couple of different ways these giant dinosaurs evolved.

The largest dinosaurs got huge way earlier than we thought

  The largest dinosaurs got huge way earlier than we thought They lived on Pangea more than 200 million years ago. They lived on Pangea more than 200 million years ago.

Scientists in Argentina discover 'first giant' dinosaur , pushing evolution of gigantism back 30 million years

Scientists in Argentina discover 'first giant' dinosaur , pushing evolution of gigantism back 30 million years

The fossil find was unveiled in Nature Ecology and Evolution today by an Argentinian crew led by National University of San Juan paleontologist Cecilia Apaldetti.

"Now we are rethinking the evolution of giant size in dinosaurs," Dr. Apaldetti said.

Most paleontologists think sauropod dinosaurs first appeared on the scene in the early Jurassic period, starting with the 11-metre Vulcanodon about 180 million years ago.

The discovery of the Ingentia prima — a dinosaur that existed about 205 million years ago and was about 8-10 metres long — has challenged this idea.

Earth's oldest biological colour discovered in rocks beneath Sahara Desert

  Earth's oldest biological colour discovered in rocks beneath Sahara Desert The world's oldest biological pigment could help answer some major questions about how life came to be on Earth.International research led by the Australian National University (ANU) has resulted in the discovery of a 1.1-billion-year-old colour — the oldest in geological record.

A new dinosaur discovery from Argentina gives fresh evidence on the rise of the giants. The fossil was found in the northwest of Argentina during a field trip. The scientists found four skeletons in all The dinosaur dates back to the Triassic, about 30 million years before the iconic long-necked

Evidence suggests gigantism in sauropods evolved 30 million years earlier than previously The fossil , which was found during a field trip in northwestern Argentina by a crew led by National "That, in Latin, means the 'first giant.'" The species dates back to the Triassic period, about 47 million years

But whether the new dinosaur walked on two legs or four, and was a sauropod at all, is up for debate.

Big dino haul

The story of Ingentia prima starts with a cattle farmer in northern Argentina.

"He [told the local museum], 'I have seen bones inside rocks but they don't seem to be from cows'," Dr Apaldetti said.

When she and her colleagues went to check them out, they found a rich trove of fossils dating back to the Triassic and Jurassic periods, or 190 million to 210 million years ago.

Today, the region is dry and scrubby. But back when the fossilised specimens were living, breathing animals, it was part of the supercontinent Pangaea.

Being near the equator, the climate was warm with periodic rains, Dr. Apaldetti said: "Something similar to a current savannah, probably with a large amount of shrubs to satisfy the great herbivores of that time."

Among the fossilised remains, in 2015 they found a new dinosaur species — Ingentia prima — alongside other, previously known relatives called Lessemsaurus sauropoides.

Giant dinosaur bones get archeologists rethinking Triassic period

  Giant dinosaur bones get archeologists rethinking Triassic period Giant dinosaurs lived on Earth much earlier than previously thought, according to a team of excavators in Argentina who discovered the remains of a 200-million-year old species. The species, baptized Ingenia prima, was about three times the size of the largest Triassic dinosaurs from its era. It was discovered in the Balde de Leyes dig site in San Juan province, 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) west of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires.The find was published in the specialist Nature Ecology & Evolution journal on Monday and revealed in Argentina by the La Matanza National University's Scientific Dissemination Agency.

dinosaur , pushing evolution of gigantism back 30 million years . "giant" dinosaur , revealing the evolution of gigantism began around 30 million years earlier than "We see in Ingentia prima the origin of gigantism , the first steps so that, more than 100 million years later, sauropods of up to

In the Middle Triassic (245-230 million years ago), when dinosaurs were just getting going Centre of mass shifts towards the front end of the animal are each associated with lengthening of the neck, a trait that was probably one of the most important factors in the evolution of gigantism in sauropods .

Weighing in at an estimated 7–10 tonnes, both dinosaurssported a long neck and tail, as well as air sacs in their body, like later sauropods did.

Air sacs are thought to help keep the massive beasts cool.

But unlike their more recent four-legged counterparts, which stood on straight tree-trunk-like legs,Ingentia prima seemed to stand on flexed feet.

Their bones also showed signs of seasonal growth, also different to how paleontologists think later sauropods grew.

Dinosaurs like brachiosaurus, Dr Apaldetti said, probably grew at a fairly rapid but consistent rate.

Ingentia prima's bones show it grew even faster at times, but slowed at others.

"With this discovery we can see that the first steps toward gigantism occurred 30 million years before the giants dominated practically the entire planet," Dr Apaldetti said.

"It [also] shows that there were other ways to be giant, and not necessarily implied the same anatomical changes that all other giants such as the titanosaurs required."

Four legs or two?

But Steve Salisbury, a ppaleontologistat the University of Queensland who was not involved with the study, isn't convinced that Ingentia prima was a sauropod.

Scientists find 'world's oldest' biological colours

  Scientists find 'world's oldest' biological colours Australian researchers have uncovered the world's oldest biological colour in the Sahara desert, in a find they said Tuesday helped explain why complex lifeforms only recently emerged on earth. The pink pigments were produced by simple microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria more than 1.1 billion years ago, some 500 million years older than previous colour pigment discoveries.That makes the samples around "fifteen times older" than the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur species, according to senior Australian National University researcher Jochen Brocks.Earth itself is about 4.

(2011). "Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs : the evolution of gigantism ". Biological Reviews. "A gigantic new dinosaur from Argentina and the evolution of the sauropod hind foot". "The smallest of the largest: a new look at possible dwarfing in sauropod dinosaurs ".

Complete sauropod fossil finds are rare. Many species, especially the largest, are known only from Classification of the sauropods has largely stabilised in recent years , though there are still some uncertainties " Evolution of High Tooth Replacement Rates in Sauropod Dinosaurs ". PLOS ONE.

Rather than walking on four legs, he suspects they probably walked on two.

"Dinosaurs similar to Ingentia prima are typically referred to as 'basal sauropodomorphs', meaning they are on the side of the dinosaurian family tree that includes sauropods, but they are not there quite yet," he said.

"Most basal sauropodomorphs are thought to have walked on their hind legs like their meat-eating cousins, the theropods, but had a long neck and ate plants, like their descendants, the sauropods."

The new fossil haul was missing a few vital bones, such as Ingentia prima's hip, thigh bone and most of the lower leg.

Without them, Dr. Salisbury said, it's hard to gauge the animal's posture.

And based on the few bones reported in the paper, "Ingentia prima's hand doesn't look ideal for putting on the ground," he added.

"They don't have a lot of the skeleton and, overall, the bits that are there don't look all that different from other basal sauropodomorphs."

So Ingentia might have been able to get on all fours, but probably spent most of its time on two legs — a little like another basal sauropodomorph that lived about 210 million years ago called Plateosaurus engelhardti, which is known from much more complete material.

"Although Ingentia prima looks like it was large for a basal sauropodomorph, unfortunately, they just don't have enough in this paper to make it appear too different to something like Plateosaurus engelhardti, and it's pretty much agreed that it was bipedal," he said.

"If that's the case, the transition to four-legged locomotion must have happened later."

Humans Didn't Evolve From A Single Ancestral Population .
<p>The reality, as suggested by this latest research, is that human ancestors were spread across Africa, segregated by diverse habitats and shifting environmental boundaries, such as forests and deserts.</p>A new commentary paper published today in Trends in Ecology & Evolution is challenging the predominant view that our species, Homo sapiens, emerged from a single ancestral population and a single geographic region in Africa.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!