Tiny Dinosaur Ancestor Discovered in Madagascar

Paleontologists have identified a tiny species of dinosaur that is believed to be a miniature early ancestor of the monstrous creatures that roamed the Earth long ago. According to a press release, the curious creature's remains were unearthed at a fossil site in Madagascar and has been given the name Kongonaphon kely, which means "tiny bug slayer." Measuring a meager 16 inches long and four inches tall, the diminutive dinosaur lived on the planet approximately 237 million years ago.

Of particular interest to scientists is that the existence of the creature in the evolutionary line lends credence to the theory that the some enormous dinosaurs, which have become iconic in modern times, likely descended from significantly smaller species. To that end, researcher Christian Kammerer observed that "here's a general perception of dinosaurs as being giants, but this new animal is very close to the divergence of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, and it's shockingly small."

More on this story at the Coast to Coast AM website.

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