In 1861 the discovery of the bird Archaeopteryx led scientists to believe there was a relationship between birds and dinosaurs. Fossilized feather impressions as well as the direct relationship between Archaeopteryx and the small dinosaur Compsognathus have continued to support the idea that dinosaurs and birds are related. Many paleontologist today regard birds as surviving dinosaurs. Some even want birds and dinosaurs to be placed into the same biological class.
Crocdilians are another close relative of the dinosaur to be alive today. Crocdilians are members of Archosauria like dinosaurs and birds. Archosauria is a group of reptiles that appeared in the late Permian period and would predominate during the Triassic period.
It is believed that huge size dinosaurs gradually came into existence from the smaller ones known as archosaur of the triassic period. It is about two hundred millon years ago. These ancient reptiles were much smaller than most dinosaurs. The dinosaurs ruled about ten million years after which they became extinct.
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