This is the first known dinosaur of the Jurassic period found on the territory of modern Italy.
The age of the dinosaur, whose remains were found, has only 24 years old / naked-science.gialanella found the remains of a mighty four-toed predatory dinosaur in a rather unusual place – in the Italian Alps.

The researchers argue that newly identified lizard, called Saltriovenator zanellai, lived about 200 million years ago. The discovery allows scientists to assert that the unexpectedly early emergence of carnivorous dinosaurs. A study published in the journal PeerJ, reports Naked Science.

For many years it was believed that the large dinosaurs only appeared in the middle Jurassic – about 180-170 million years ago, and before that time dinosaurs were relatively small. This caused a lot of discussion, as scientists wondered about the reasons for the lack of growth in the early Jurassic: voiced version that connects causes with a harsh and unstable climate of the time.

According to experts, the age of the dinosaur, remains of which were found by paleontologist lover Angelo Zanella, has only 24 years old. While Saltriovenator zanellai weighed 1.3 tons, was seven meters in length and approximately three meters in height. This suggests that the lizard had a huge size not only by the standards of his time, but of the whole of the Jurassic period. In addition, scientists believe it is a “missing link” uniting the most ancient dinosaurs of ceratosaurus, dilophosaurus and allosaurus – with all the other predators of the Mesozoic.

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Such a conclusion they did based on the fact that in appearance he resembled the ancient dinosaurs, however, had only three fingers on his front paws. After examining the remains, the archaeologists came to the conclusion that the body of a dinosaur was in the sea, where he was badly bitten marine life. Then, the formation of the Alps, 30 million years ago, his bones rose to the surface. Many of the 132 S. zanellai bones were fragmented, but it was enough to determine what a dinosaur had four fingers, like all famous ceratosaurus. The more ancient dinosaurs such as herrerasaur, had five fingers, but in the evolution of their “pinky” was lost, and after the same fate befell “the nameless” – the famous allosaurus and tyrannosaurs already three fingers on the paw.

This discovery answers a longstanding question about how birds and three-toed dinosaurs lost two “extra” finger. In particular, paws Saltriovenator zanellai confirm that the longest finger of the birds and predatory dinosaurs was similar to the index, not the middle finger, as it was considered before.

Earlier UNIAN reported that an international team of researchers under the direction of paleontologist Professor Jonah Choiniere from the University of Witwatersrand has discovered a new species of dinosaur in the Free-state province of South Africa (South Africa).