These earliest dinosaur -like animals were about the size of domestic cats. They would have weighed two or three pounds (1 to 1.5 kilos) and walked on four legs.
But what's really intrigued scientists is that they date from two million years after the worst mass extinction event in the history of the planet.
It was a time when volcanic eruptions, sudden global warming and a stagnation of the oceans wiped out more than 90% of all life on Earth.
Up until recently scientists thought that dinosaurs emerged 15 to 20 million years after this event. But the new footprints suggest that they arose directly as a result of the devastation, filling a gapingecologicalvoid. Without the mass extinctions there would have been no dinosaurs.
Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, London
masovno istrebljenje jedne vrste
potpuno uništeni, zbrisani sa lica Zemlje
ekološki, u skladu sa brigom o prirodi
veliki, prazan prostor