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Since dromaeosaurs had only been found in places that used to be part of Laurasia, scientists figured that the beasts evolved into being after Pangea split.
But the Buitreraptor fossil in South America, which dates back 90 million years and closely resembles fossils from the North, means one of two things: Either dromaeosaurs existed when Pangea was intact; or the newfound Buitreraptor and its northern look-alikes evolved separately yet with remarkably similar results.
But it wasn't until now that scientists were able to accurately date the findings, and possibly rewrite the history of the New World as we know it.
Both belong to a class of birdlike dinosaurs that ran swiftly on two legs and are called dromaeosaurs.
The new find suggests such raptors go back much further in time than previously thought.
Until recently, dromaeosaurs had been found only in Asia and North America and only in the Cretaceous period, which ran from 145 million to 65 million years ago.
What we call Laurasia eventually became North America, Asia and Europe.
The other chunk Gondwana, developed into the continents of the Southern Hemisphere and India.