|Scientists in Brazil found an ancient 250-million-year-old beast that they have named Teyujagua paradoxa. Fossil remains of the previously unknown species of reptile were found in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is an important find because it is a link between ancient reptiles and the creatures that would eventually become dinosaurs and then birds and crocodiles.|
This skull reveals for the first time the mosaic assembly of key features of the archosauriform skull.
|The fossil was found in an area of exposed Triassic rock, and it would have lived not long after a massive volcanic eruption in eastern Russia eliminated 90 percent of living species. The reptile - and its close relatives the archosauriforms - became the dominant animals on land and eventually gave rise to the dinosaurs.|
Teyujagua paradoxa are transitional in morphology between archosauriforms and more primitive reptiles.
|Teyujagua paradoxa was a small, quadrupedal reptile. The species grew up to about 5 feet (1.5 m) in length and lived in the margins of lakes and rivers, hunting amphibians and procolophonids — extinct, small bodied reptiles similar to lizards.|
Its teeth were recurved with fine serrations and sharply pointed, indicating a carnivorous diet.