Triassic Carnivore Shows That Animals Resembled Dinosaurs Before Dinos Existed – Seeker

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Teleocrater was part of a side branch of dinosaur cousin,” Nesbitt said. “It never became a dinosaur, just like a chimp will never become a human.”
 
As a result, the species has no direct living descendants today. Nevertheless, it possessed both iconic crocodile and dinosaur characteristics some 10 million years before the first unambiguous dinosaurs evolved in what are now Argentina, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and India.
 
Teleocrater and its close relatives show that the overall body plan that once was thought to characterize crocodile-line reptiles was also present in the first members of the lineage that led to dinosaurs,” co-author Martin Ezcurra of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales in Buenos Aires said in a statement.
 
Teleocrater and its relatives, which form a group called Aphanosauria per the new paper, were very widespread. Their remains have been found not only in what is now Africa but also in Russia, India, and Brazil.
 
Nesbitt said that the Triassic Period has long been considered to be the great “Age of Crocodile Relatives” because these aquatic reptiles were diverse, abundant, and located across much of the planet during that time. Now it’s known that Teleocrater and other close relatives of dinosaurs were equally diverse and widespread during the same time, setting the stage for dinosaurs dominating the Jurassic Period.
 
Co-author Paul Barrett, who worked with Charig at the Natural History Museum in London, said that his late colleague “would have been thrilled to see one of ‘his’ animals finally being named and occupying such an interesting position in the Tree of Life.”