How do scientists determine the age of dinosaur bones?

All about Fossils and Carbon Dating: Dinosaur Teeth and More for Kids

Rediscovered fossils push dawn of dinosaurs back 10 to 15 million years. Json for photos, current index, the Title for the Prez gallery, social link data, and social link analytics site Pestle. Nyasasaurus parringtonipossibly the oldest dinosaur, is seen in an artist's rendering. Just when you thought dinosaurs couldn't get any older, the oldest dinosaur has been found in Africa, a new study says.

The fossils push back the dawn of the dinosaurs to around million years ago—about 10 to 15 million years earlier than previously thought, scientists say. Dubbed Nyasasaurus parringtonithe animal is only known from an upper arm and some back oldest carbon dating dinosaur bones discovered in Tanzania in the s but only recently studied in detail.

Prior to the new analysis, the oldest known dinosaur fossils belonged to small, lightly built, meat-eating creatures found in South America that dated to around million years ago. Very little is known about Nyasasaurus. Based on the fossils, scientists estimate it was between 6. But no skull bones have been found yet, so it's unclear what the animal ate or even whether it walked on two legs or four.

However, the creature does have one distinguishing characteristic linking it to dinosaurs: All dinosaurs have this elongated crest," explained study oldest carbon dating dinosaur bones Sterling Nesbitta paleontologist at the University of Washington. But there's not enough information to say definitively whether the creature was a true dinosaur or whether it was the closest cousin of the dinosaurs.

Whichever the case may be, the Nyasasaurus fossil shows that dinosaurs—or their very close relatives—lived alongside another group of reptiles, called the silesaurids, for several millions years before dominating Earth. They were probably rare and they didn't diversify as soon as they showed up," Nesbitt said. The discovery of Nyasasaurus in Tanzania also supports the idea that persuasive speech on dating originated in the southern part of the supercontinent known as Pangaea, said study team member Sarah Werning of the University of California, Berkeley.

Rex Cousin Suggests Dinosaurs Arose in South America. Hans-Dieter Suesa paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D. This is a oldest carbon dating dinosaur bones shift, he noted, from the thinking among paleontologists just a few decades ago, when such an early origin oldest carbon dating dinosaur bones dinosaurs was "unthinkable. The oldest-dinosaur research is detailed in the current issue of the journal Biology Letters.

Illustration courtesy Mark Witton, NHM London. Rex Resurrecting a Dragon. Oldest Dinosaur Still a Mystery.

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