The world experienced what’s come to be known as the Great Dying 252 million years back. On this almost sterilized Earth, against all odds, new creatures appeared – including the reptile Teyujagua paradoxa, whose name means “furious lizard.”
This 250-million-year old animal was really exceptional, because it had been linked to the ancestral group that gave rise to dinosaurs and any or all crocodiles, the latter of which may rule the world for the next 184 million years. The fossilized remains of the T. paradoxa skull, as shown in a study in Scientific Reports, fills a vital evolutionary difference that can be tracked all the way to modern day birds.
Archosauriforms are an incredibly archaic group that included several crocodile-like creatures as well as the archosaurs, a menagerie of monsters including all fowl, crocodiles, flying pterosaurs, and extinct dinosaurs. This new find, unearthed in Brazil, shows exactly what the early ancestor to all those may have looked like.
The discovery of the new reptile skull fills in a fairly notable blank space in the evolutionary history of life on Earth, although the fossil record around this time period is thin. It’d a mosaic of characteristics, including nostrils on the top portion of curved serrated teeth and its own snout.
This meant that, in its surroundings, it flourished in addition to other archosauriforms and possibly dominated it, making the development and rise of the dinosaurs a sure thing.
The truth is, T. paradoxa was part of the first half of a two-stage development of reptiles. The first phase included the archosauriforms becoming the dominant terrestrial predators, while the 2nd period is linked to the development of big herbivorous creatures. Everything from Dakotaraptor and the terrifying Nanotyrannus to the adorable Chasmosaurus followed on from this.
This new fossil discovery, indicating the beginning of among the very important, intricate explosions of life would have pleased Darwin. In this situation, those never-ending types contain anything.