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Oldest dinosaur footprints found

Prorodactylus Imagen de Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki

Scientists have found dinosaur-like footprints in a 250-million-year-old rock, suggesting that first dinosaur-like creatures emerged up to nine million years earlier than previously thought.

Reporter:
Pallab Ghosh

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These earliest dinosaur-like animals were about the size of domestic cats. They would have weighed two or three pounds (1 to 1.5 kilos) and walked on four legs.

But what’s really intrigued scientists is that they date from two million years after the worst mass extinction event in the history of the planet.

It was a time when volcanic eruptions, sudden global warming and a stagnation of the oceans wiped out more than 90% of all life on Earth.

Up until recently scientists thought that dinosaurs emerged 15 to 20 million years after this event. But the new footprints suggest that they arose directly as a result of the devastation, filling a gaping ecological void. Without the mass extinctions there would have been no dinosaurs.

Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, London

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dinosaur
dinosaurio

mass extinction
extinción masiva

volcanic eruptions
erupciones volcánicas

global warming
calentamiento global

stagnation
estancamiento

wiped out
totalmente eliminados

devastation
devastación / destrucción

gaping
enorme

ecological
ecológico

void
vacío

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