Who were the oldest dinosaurs?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hererrasaurus and Eoraptor are the oldest dinosaurs ever discovered. Both were small! Although the name ‘dinosaur’ commonly evokes images of huge ponderous creatures, the earliest dinosaurs were within the size range of humans. These early dinosaurs walked on their hindlimbs alone - they were bipedal, like we are. But from small bipedal forms resembling Hererrasaurus and Eoraptor evolved giants like Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Brachiosaurus. In some cases the giants reverted to walking on all fours, in order to support their hulking bodies. But in every case, the giant quadrupeds had ancestors that were small and bipedal and looked very much like Hererrasaurus and Eoraptor.

Several of the world's most famous dinosaurs are featured attractions of Digital Morphology. On the following pages you can see the two oldest known dinosaurs, Herrerasaurus and Eoraptor, along with their younger relatives, Syntarsus and Allosaurus.

These rare and priceless specimens were brought to UTCT to be scanned, so that their skulls could be examined from the inside out. Did dinosaurs have tiny brains? What was the brain of the oldest dinosaur like? Was anything going on inside its head? Until CT technology was available, these questions could only be answered using techniques that break and damage fossils. CT scanning provided the answers non-destructively, and you can see some of the results on the following pages.

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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