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Evolution of Dinosaurs Happened at Rapid Pace, Say Scientists

Update Date: Dec 10, 2015 08:51 AM EST
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A recent study suggests that the evolution of dinosaurs may have happened more rapidly than was anticipated, developing in less than 5 million years since the pre-dinosaur era. As per this statistic, it takes off at least 10 million years out of its evolution cycle. The paper that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines some fossils from the early dinosaur period. The research led by Paleontologist Claudia Marsicano from the University of Buenos Aires suggested that the crucial fossils found in the Chanares Formation in Argentina have not been dated correctly.

The reason why Chanares is vital to the dinosaur evolution is because of the fossils found in the area. It not only includes the dinosaur fossil but also that of dinosauromorphs that belonged to the previous evolutionary history. This is why the researchers could track the evolution timeline. Inside the rocks of Chanares, the team of researchers have been able to reveal a lot of information. "In other basins, dinosaur precursors, early dinosaurs and faunas dominated by dinosaurs do not all conveniently exist in the same place. In the basin containing the Chañares Formation, you can follow hundreds of meters of sediments back through time," Marsicano said in a statement. "Because of this, the margin of error is very narrow because you can see the complete history all in one basin," says Philly

To get the accurate dating of the rocks that held these fossils, Marsicano and her team of researchers took some samples from the basin and crushed them to obtain the zircon crystals that are residues left after the volcanic eruptions. The team measured the exact ration of uranium to lead in the sample. Based on these two elements, the scientists could predict the exact date of these fossils since the uranium present in the crystals decays into lead over a specified period of time. Since Chanares is considered to be younger by at least 10 million years, so have the pre-dinosaurs, as reported by Washington Post

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