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Last Updated: Thursday March 04 2010 16:01 GMT

Scientists find dinosaur relative

AFP PHOTO / Marlene Hill Donnelly, Field Museum

Scientists have discovered a dinosaur-like creature 10 million years older than the earliest known dinosaurs.

It's called Asilisaurus kongwe and it's a newly discovered herbivore - or vegetarian dinosaur - that lived about 245 million years ago!

The American scientists who found it say its age suggests dinosaurs were around earlier than previously thought.

Dr Randall Irmis said: "It was to dinosaurs much like chimps are to humans - kind of cousins."

Dr Irmis was one of the scientists working on the dinosaur project.

Asilisaurus compared to a human
Asilisaurus stood up to 1m tall and walked on all fours

He also said that the creature wasn't what you'd expect a dinosaur cousin to look like.

"It was a weird little creature," he said. "We always thought the earliest relatives were small, bipedal [two-legged], carnivorous animals.

"These walked on four legs and had beaks and herbivore-like teeth."