South Africa’s Times Live has reported that the dinosaur found in Lake Malawi may be the oldest one ever found.
Dubbed Nyasasaurus, the putative dino was about 80 centimetres high, up to three metres in length and had a tail up to 1.5 metres long, according to their study.
It probably weighed between 20 kilograms and 60 kilograms.
“If the newly-named Nyasasaurus parringtoni is not the earliest dinosaur, then it is the closest relative found so far,” said Sterling Nesbitt of the University of Washington.
Nyasasaurus’ name derives from Lake Nyasa - now called Lake Malawi - and from a University of Cambridge palaeontologist, Rex Parrington.
His team excavated the six vertebrae and upper arm bone from sediment in the Ruhuhu Valley of southern Tanzania in the early 1930s.
Given the current dispute between the Tanzanian and Malawian Government over the ownership of Lake Malawi, one wonders if the Government of Tanzania is going to be unhappy with the way Times Live has reported the story, as we have seen when CNN referred to the Lake as Lake Malawi, especially as the bones were found in the Ruhuhu Valley in southern Tanzania.
We also wonder if the discovery of such old fossils in the lake will affect the perception of companies that will or have already been granted licenses to explore (such as, Surestream Petroleum) and extract for oil and gas.