In a new study it is being said one of the earliest relatives of dinosaurs carried features similar to alligators and crocodiles.
Details of the finding are published in the Nature journal. It writes the ARchosaur fossils found in Tanzania reveal carnivorous animal lived about 245 million years ago on our planet during the Triassic Period and weighed same as the average family dog.
Professor Paul Barrett from London’s Natural History Museum said the 2 to 3 meters animal pre-dated the earliest dinosaurs The little animal is called Teleocrater.
He added, “Visually, it would have looked a bit like a souped-up version of a Komodo dragon, crossed maybe with something else. So it would have been a slender animal, not a big armoured thing like a crocidile.”
The researcher said Teleocrater rhadinus appeared after large animals archosaurs split into two branches like that led to dinosaurs and other to crocodiles and alligators.
The anatomy of Teleocrater had crocodilian-like ankle joint, but some of the features also had characteristic of dinosaurs.
The new fossils were uncovered in 2015 in Tanzania and it reveals one of the earliest members of the archosaur family walked like a crocokylian.
The first fossils were found in the country in 1933 but those had missing crucial bones like ankle.
Researcher Sterling Nesbitt said, “The discovery of Teleocrater fundamentally changes our ideas about the earliest history of dinosaur relatives… It also raises far more questions than it answers.”
Nesbitt is one of the authors of the new study. He is from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, US.