Specialists indicate that the new perspective they adopted might reshape the family tree of dinosaurs. They have re-examined the relationships between dinosaurs. Researchers claim that dinosaurs might have their origins in the Northern Hemisphere, somewhere around Britain. They stated that the theory they used up to now about the evolution of dinosaurs might be wrong.
- Scientists developed a new theory regarding the origin and evolution of dinosaurs.
- The previous theory grouped plant-eaters into Ornithischia and meat-eaters into Saurischia.
- The new theory might re-shape the family tree, categorizing theropods as being part of Ornithischia.
The new view adopted by scientists is presented in a paper which is published this week in the Nature magazine. Researchers suggested that dinosaurs like Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex have been incorrectly classified in the family tree of dinosaurs. One of the reasons, which support this theory, is that dinosaurs appeared 15 million years earlier compared with what scientists thought. The fossils indicate that the origin of these massive creatures may have emerged further north than specialists initially believed.
Based on the study of Matthew Baron of Cambridge University, dinosaurs might have appeared in an area which is now the United Kingdom. He argued that the northern continents are more likely to play a significant role in the evolution of dinosaurs compared to what was previously known. Harry Govier Seeley, a paleontologist and a professor at Kings College, London, was the one who developed the previous version of dinosaurs’ family tree, about 130 years ago.
Researchers compared the arrangements of petrified bones, their shapes and their sizes from different species of dinosaurs, also analyzing how they changed in time. Thus, Seely developed a theory, unveiling how all the species were related. He stated that there were two primary groups of dinosaurs, namely the Ornithischia and Saurischia. The first category had their hip cones similar to the ones of modern-day birds, while the latter category had their hip bones similar to the ones of reptiles.
The Ornithischia group represented plant-eaters, including species like Triceratops and Stegosaurus. The Saurischia group was formed by meat-eaters, like T-Rex and plant-eaters, like Brontosaurus. Until the launch of the new study, this classification was never questioned. Researchers analyzed more fossils and enlarged the range of species to reshape the relationships between them.
The team of researchers argued that Seeley’s theory might be wrong. Their new approach indicates that theropods, namely meat-eaters were grouped together with Ornithischia dinosaurs. This new view represents a significant departure from the initial way of classifying the species of dinosaurs.
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