Scientists have long theorized that the birds we see today have evolved from dinosaurs, but now they are taking it step further. A new study claims to have come across the earliest ancestor of birds and dinosaurs, and it’s called the Teleocrater rhadinus.
Some name for a prehistoric animal, right? The study went on to explain the creature has a long neck, and its length is 10-feet. What’s interesting about this animal, is the fact that it walks on all four legs, similar to a lizard. Furthermore, the animal roamed lands of Tanzania, East Africa, and went extinct at around 245 million years ago. Interestingly enough, the Teleocrater went the way of the DoDo bird before the dinosaurs came around.
Scientist had Teleocrater remains for years
According to the report via Nature, scientists found the remains of this remarkable creature several years ago, but they didn’t have the means to reconstruct it fully. The reason has everything to do with lack of bones. It was only after finding a new specimen back in 2015 that researchers were able to reconstruct the Teleocrater to get a better understanding of what it looks like.
“We demonstrate that several anatomical features long thought to characterize Dinosauria and dinosauriforms evolved much earlier, soon after the bird–crocodylian split, and that the earliest avemetatarsalians retained the crocodylian-like ankle morphology and hindlimb proportions of stem archosaurs and early pseudosuchians,” according to the report.
We’re not certain what caused the animal to go extinct, but what matters most is that in theory, the creature played a role in the creation of the dinosaurs, and as such, will never be forgotten.
This is not the end of the research, as scientists are going back into the field with the hopes of coming across another specimen. With what we know of science, there’s a chance they might find another creature that is much older than the Teleocrater.