Dino Eve Credit: Conty Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eodromaeus_400_AJV.png License: CC BY-NC 3.0
Tyrannosaurus rex didn’t just appear. The loved and feared dinosaur evolved from a more general (and less scary) proto-dinosaur. T. rex’s ancestor might have been this gal, Eodromaeus murphi. Is this creature dino eve?
Amazing But True!
- Eodromaeus murphi was probably a common ancestor of theropods.
- Most theropods were meat-eaters.
- A common ancestor of species is similar to a common ancestor of people. You and your first cousins have grandparents as your common ancestors.
- Eodromaeus and Eoraptor lived about 230 million years ago in Western Gondwana (the southern continent that split from Pangaea).
- Eoraptor was thought to be a theropod. Now Dr. Paul Sereno and some other paleontologists think that it’s a sauropod. Other researchers don’t agree.
With the link below, learn more about Eodromaeus murphi. Then answer the following questions.
- Science Friday, Fossil From The Dawn of Dinos: http://www.sciencefriday.com/video/01/14/2011/fossil-from-the-dawn-of-dinos.html
- What are the interesting characteristics of Eodromaeus murphi?
- What is a common ancestor in evolution?
- Why is Eodromaeus thought to be the common ancestor of carnivorous theropods including Tyrannosaurus rex?
- Why does Dr. Sereno think Eodromaeus and Eoraptor are the ancestors of two different branches of dinosaurs?
- Is it surprising that paleontologists don’t agree who Eodromaeus and Eoraptor are related to? Why or why not?