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This Wednesday, in light of a groundbreaking evolutionary discovery, it seems appropriate to take a look into a window of the distant past, before our generation, before human life, and even before the existence of what we consider to be the most ancient dinosaurs.  Recently, paleontologists uncovered fossils of what they believe to be the oldest species of dinosaur ever discovered.This new species of dinosaur, named Nyasasaurus parringtoni, may have existed 10-15 million years before the previous earliest dinosaur specimens.  Before this discovery, there had been a large gap between the early forms of dinosaur life and the dinosaurs that dominated the early world.  The 6 vertebra and upper arm bone fossils, found near Lake Malawi in Southern Africa, seem to fit perfectly into this evolutionary gap.  Although the scientists and paleontologists researching this discovery cannot call Nyasasaurus parringtoni the first dinosaur with absolute certainty, they are confident that this species existed in a time when many species of slowly evolving reptiles populated the earth.  This new species in particular, shows some of the primitive physical structures and characteristics that evolved into the dinosaurs that roamed and dominated the earth for millions of years.

How do discoveries like this impact our culture, our knowledge of Earth, and the history of life? Do discoveries of the past play any part in our modern lives or is it more beneficial to look forward to what will become?

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