For decades, scientists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like and what other species they are most closely related to. Now, Virginia Tech researchers shed new light on the early history of these relatives, with new discoveries that overturn popular predictions and current knowledge, as well as fill critical gaps in the fossil record.

Leading this work are paleobiologists Sterling Nesbitt and Michelle Stocker, both assistant professors of geosciences in the College of Science and members of the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech.