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New research shakes up dino family tree

Scientists have proposed a significant reorganisation of the dinosaur family tree, which alters our understanding of their origins and evolution.

The collaborative study between the Museum and Cambridge University regroups the familiar lineages of dinosaurs that have been established for 130 years.

The new arrangement, which is based on analysis of hundreds of fossil features, helps explain some puzzling aspects of early dinosaur evolution and provides new clues as to when key features and behaviours evolved.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Museum palaeontologist and co-author Prof Paul Barrett says, 'If we're correct, this study explains away many prior inconsistencies in our knowledge of dinosaur anatomy and relationships.

'It also provides new insights and raises several new questions relating to the pace and geographical setting of dinosaur origins.'

Read more or watch the short explainer video.