The fossilised imprints, found at three sites in Poland’s Holy Cross Mountains, includes rare tracks of one of the forerunners of the dinosaurs, known as Prorotodactylus mirus.
The Prorotodactylus footprints were roughly two to four centimetres (one to two inches) across.
They indicate the first dinosaurs emerged a few million years after a species wipeout called the Permian-Triassic extinction, but were a minor group in the panoply of life, according to the study.
These early dinos were small, four-footed animals, but over the next 50 million years, their class diversified astonishingly, becoming leviathan herbivores and fleet-footed carnivores that dominated the planet.
“The ascent of dinosaurs was a drawn-out process that unfolded over nearly the entire Triassic and Early Jurassic,” says the paper, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a journal of Britain’s de-facto academy of sciences. ( AFP )
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