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David Fastovsky

When did dinosaurs REALLY evolve in North America?

Scientists' long-held belief is that dinosaurs appeared in the United States about 212 million years ago, significantly later than in South America, where they first appeared about 230 million years ago.

But URI Professor of Geosciences David Fastovsky, along with colleagues at MIT, have precisely dated rocks - rocks in which the earliest dinosaur fossils were discovered - in the southwestern U.S. and discovered that dinosaurs, in fact, appeared there as early as 223 million years ago.

“This work essentially upends the well-entrenched hypothesis that dinosaurs first got their start in South America, and radiated extremely slowly into North America,” said Fastovsky.


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