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Images: The Oldest Dinosaur

Nyasasaurus

Nyasasaurus, the possible oldest dinosaur

(Image credit: © Natural History Museum, London / Mark Witton)

An artist's illustration of a Nyasasaurus from the middle Triassic of Tanzania.

Oldest Dino Bone?

Nyasasaurus dinosaur bone

(Image credit: ©Natural History Museum)

This is the upper arm bone of Nyasasaurus parringtoni. The fossilized humerus, or upper arm bone, is about 5 inches (120 mm) long and scientist estimate it would have been about 6 inches (150 mm) long in the living animal.

Dino Bone Scan

Color scan of Nyasasaurus bone.

(Image credit: ©Natural History Museum)

A color scan of the Nyasasaurus bone.

Bone Scan

Dinosaur bone scan

(Image credit: ©Natural History Museum)

The patterns in this bone scan indicate that the bone fibers are disorganized, like those of other early dinosaurs.

Tanzania Dinosaur Map

Tanzania map of dinosaur collection.

(Image credit: University of Washington)

Bones of Nyasasaurus parringtoni were collected in southwest Tanzania in the 1930s from the Manda beds, which preserves fossils of many animals from the Triassic Period of Earth's history.

Dino Researcher

Sterling Nesbitt

(Image credit: Guillermo Rougier)

Lead researcher, the University of Washington's Sterling Nesbitt during field work in Mongolia.

Excavating in South Africa

Dinosaur excavation in South Africa

(Image credit: ©Natural History Museum)

Study co-researcher Paul Barrett of London's Natural History Museum excavates a skeleton of a prosauropod dinosaur near Lady Grey, South Africa.

Study Co-Researcher

Dinosaur excavation in New Mexico

(Image credit: Randall Irmis)

Study researcher Sarah Werning of University of California, Berkeley excavates around a plaster jacket covering a Triassic dinosaur from a quarry in New Mexico.

Digging in Tanzania

Digging for dinosaurs in Tanzania

(Image credit: L. Tsuji)

Researcher Christian Sidor of the University of Washington excavates a fossil from the Manda beds, Tanzania.

Tanzania Dinosaur Map

Tanzania map of dinosaur collection.

(Image credit: University of Washington)

Bones of Nyasasaurus parringtoni were collected in southwest Tanzania in the 1930s from the Manda beds, which preserves fossils of many animals from the Triassic Period of Earth's history.

Dino Researcher

Sterling Nesbitt

(Image credit: Guillermo Rougier)

Lead researcher, the University of Washington's Sterling Nesbitt during field work in Mongolia.