Dinosaur origins pushed further back in time

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The first dinosaur-like creatures emerged up to nine million years earlier than previously thought.

That is the conclusion of a study on footprints found in 250 million-year-old rocks from Poland.

Writing in a Royal Society journal, a team has named the creature that made them Prorotodactylus.

The prints are small - measuring a few centimetres in length - which suggests the earliest dinosaur-like animals were about the size of domestic cats.

They would have weighed at most a kilogram or two, they walked on four legs and they were very rare animals.

Their footprints comprised only two or three per cent of the total footprints on this site.

The footprints date to just two million years after the end-Permian mass extinction - the worst mass extinction in the history of the planet....

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