Africa’s Oldest Dinosaur Discovered In Zimbabwe

Palaeontologists in Zimbabwe have unearthed remains of a new species of plant-eating dinosaur believed to have roamed across Africa some 230 million years ago. 

Key points:

  • The dinosaur species is roughly equivalent in age to the oldest dinosaurs found anywhere in the world
  • The discovery proves ‘early evolution of dinosaurs is still being written with each new find’, says a palaeontologist 
  • The species is a relative of the sauropod, which walked on four legs

An international team of palaeontologists led by Virginia Tech uncovered the fossil of the long-necked sauropodomorph over the course of two digs in 2017 and 2019.

The fossil, which was near-complete barring some of the hand and portions of the skull, is the oldest-known definitive dinosaur found in Africa to date. 

Scientists said they estimated the Mbiresaurus raathi to have been 6 feet (183 centimetres) long and weighed anywhere from nine to 29 kilograms. They believe it stood on two legs and its head was relatively small like its herbivore relatives. 


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