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260-million-year-old Pre-reptile may Have Been First to Walk Upright

by Vishnuprasad on  September 18, 2015 at 9:39 PM Research News   - G J E 4
As per a new study, a pre-reptile may have been the earliest known to walk upright on all fours. The analysis of bones of the Bunostegos Akokanensis, a 260-million-year-old pre-reptile, found that it likely stood upright on all fours, like a cow or a hippo, making it the earliest known creature to do so.
 260-million-year-old Pre-reptile may Have Been First to Walk Upright
260-million-year-old Pre-reptile may Have Been First to Walk Upright
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To date, all of the known Pareiasaurs that roamed the supercontinent of Pangea in the Permian Era a quarter of a billion years ago were sprawlers whose limbs would jut out from the side of the body and then continue out or slant down from the elbow (like some modern lizards).

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Lead author Morgan Turner expected the Bunostegos to be a sprawler too, but the bones of the animal's fore limbs tell a different story.

A lot of the animals that lived around the time had a similar upright or semi-upright hind limb posture, but what's interesting and special about the Bunostegos is the fore limb, in that its anatomy is sprawling, precluding and seemingly directed underneath its body--unlike anything else at the time, said Turner.

He added that the elements and features within the fore limb bones won't allow a sprawling posture. That is unique. Co-author Linda Tsuji said "imagine a cow-sized, plant-eating reptile with a knobby skull and bony armor down its back." The study appears in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.



Source: ANI
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