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Volume 609 Issue 7926, 8 September 2022

Dinosaur distribution

The cover shows an artist’s impression of Mbiresaurus raathi, a newly discovered species of herbivorous dinosaur found in Zimbabwe and dating to around 230 million years ago. The remains of the sauropodomorph were part of a collection of fossils from the Late Triassic that contains Africa’s oldest known dinosaurs. Discovered by Christopher Griffin and colleagues along with palaeontologists at the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, these fossils are discussed in this week’s issue. The researchers note that the remains correlate with those of similar vertebrates found in the same latitude band in South America and India, suggesting that the distribution of the dinosaurs correlated with climatic barriers. The team notes that this agrees with the idea of arid and humid climate belts running east–west across the supercontinent Pangaea, indicating that the range of these early dinosaurs was constrained to southern Pangaea until those climatic barriers relaxed.

Cover image: Andrey Atuchin

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