Reconstructed skeleton of Kotasaurus yamanpalliensis at B. M. Birla Science Centre.

Belongs within: Massopoda.
Contains: Eusauropoda.

The Sauropoda were a group of mostly very large, herbivorous dinosaurs that include the largest terrestrial animals known to have existed. They appear in the fossil record during the Upper Triassic, with the South African Antetonitrus ingenipes being the earliest known species (Yates & Kitching 2003). Other Triassic sauropods include Blikanasaurus cromptoni from South Africa and Isanosaurus attavipachi from Thailand (Upchurch et al. 2004). Vulcanodon karibaensis is known from the Early Jurassic of Zimbabwe; ironically, despite its generic name meaning ‘volcano tooth’, the skull of this species is unknown.

Synapomorphies (from Yates & Kitching 2003): Suprapostzygapophyseal laminae present on the dorsal vertebrae; humerus greater than 80% length of femur; long cranial process present on proximal ulna; femur with elliptical cross-section; third metatarsal less than 40% length of tibia; midshaft of metatarsal 1 broader than all other metatarsals; pedal ungual 1 longer than metatarsal 1.

<==Sauropoda [Atlantosauridae, Vulcanodontidae]UBD04
    |--Antetonitrus Yates & Kitching 2003YK03
    |    `--*A. ingenipes Yates & Kitching 2003YK03
    |--Blikanasaurus Galton & Heerden 1985BM21, UBD04
    |    `--B. cromptoni Galton & Heerden 1985UBD04
    `--+--Pulanesaura eocollumBM21, BNB17
       |--Gongxianosaurus He, Wang et al. 1998BM21, UBD04
       |    `--G. shibeiensis He, Wang et al. 1998UBD04
       `--+--Isanosaurus Buffetaut, Suteethorn et al. 2000YK03, UBD04
          |    |--*I. attavipachi Buffetaut, Suteethorn et al. 2000BS00
          |    `--I. russelliD07
             `--+--Amygdalodon Cabrera 1947BM21, UBD04
                |    `--A. patagonicus Cabrera 1947UBD04
                `--+--Spinophorosaurus nigerensisBM21, P10
                   `--+--Ohmdenosaurus Wild 1978BM21, UBD04
                      |    `--O. liasicus Wild 1978UBD04
                      `--+--Volkheimeria Bonaparte 1979BM21, UBD04
                         |    `--V. chubutensis Bonaparte 1979UBD04
                            |  `--Kotasaurus Yadagiri 1988UBD04
                            |       `--K. yamanpalliensis Yadagiri 1988UBD04
                            `--+--Vulcanodon Raath 1972UBD04
                               |    `--V. karibaensis Raath 1972UBD04
                               `--Tazoudasaurus Allain 2003BM21, D07
                                    `--T. naimiD07
Sauropoda incertae sedis:
  Zizhongosaurus chuanchengensis Dong, Zhou & Zhang 1983 (n. d.)UBD04
  Chinshakiangosaurus chunghoensis Dong 1992 (n. d.)UBD04
  Clasmodosaurus spatula Ameghino 1899 (n. d.)UBD04
  Morinosaurus typus Sauvage 1874 (n. d.)UBD04
  Sanpasaurus yaoi Young 1944 (n. d.)UBD04
  Tapinosaurus (n. d.)N85
  Xenoposeidon proneneukos Taylor & Naish 2007N10
  Cardiodon Owen 1841 [Cardiodontidae]M96
    `--C. rugulosus Owen 1840-1845 [=Cetiosaurus rugulosus]UBD04
  Tendaguria Bonaparte, Heinrich & Wild 2000UBD04
    `--T. tanzaniensis Bonaparte, Heinrich & Wild 2000UBD04
  Gigantosaurus megalonyx Seeley 1869 (n. d.)UBD04
  Histriasaurus boscarollii Dalla Vecchia 1998 (n. d.)UBD04
  ‘Iguanodon’ praecursor Sauvage 1876 (n. d.)UBD04
  Ischyrosaurus manseli Hulke in Ludekker 1888 (n. d.)UBD04
  Kunmingosaurus wudingensis Dong 1992 (n. d.)UBD04
  Protognathosaurus oxyodon Zhang 1988 (n. d.)UBD04
  Pukyongosaurus millenniumi Dong, Paik & Kim 2001 (n. d.)UBD04
  Qinlingosaurus luonanensis Xue, Zhang & Bi 1996 (n. d.)UBD04
  Sonorasaurus thompsoni Ratkevich 1998 (n. d.)UBD04
  Ultrasaurus tabriensis Kim 1983 (n. d.)UBD04
  Dinodocus mackesoni Owen 1884 (n. d.) [=Pelorosaurus mackesoni]UBD04
    |--C. asianensis Lee, Yang & Park 1997UBD04
    `--C. lacustris Bohlin 1953UBD04

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BNB17] Baron, M. G., D. B. Norman & P. M. Barrett. 2017. A new hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution. Nature 543: 501–506.

[BM21] Beccari, V., O. Mateus, O. Wings, J. Milàn & L. B. Clemmensen. 2021. Issi saaneq gen. et sp. nov.—a new sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Triassic (Norian) of Jameson Land, central east Greenland. Diversity 13: 561.

[BS00] Buffetaut, E., V. Suteethorn, G. Cuny, H. Tong, J. Le Loueff, S. Khansubha & S. Jongautchariyakul. 2000. The earliest known sauropod dinosaur. Nature 407: 72–74.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[M96] Marsh, O. C. 1896. The Dinosaurs of North America: Washington.

[N10] Naish, D. 2010. Tetrapod Zoology: Book One. CFZ Press: Bideford (UK).

[N85] Norman, D. 1985. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Salamander Books: London.

[P10] Paul, G. S. 2010. Dinosaurs: A Field Guide. A & C Black.

[R-TCA06] Royo-Torres, R., A. Cobos & L. Alcalá. 2006. A giant European dinosaur and a new sauropod clade. Science 314: 1925–1927.

[UBD04] Upchurch, P., P. M. Barrett & P. Dodson. 2004. Sauropoda. In: Weishampel, D. B., P. Dodson & H. Osmólska (eds) The Dinosauria 2nd ed. pp. 259–322. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[XT07] Xu, X., Q. Tan, J. Wang, X. Zhao & L. Tan. 2007. A gigantic bird-like dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China. Nature 447: 844–847.

[YK03] Yates, A. M., & J. W. Kitching. 2003. The earliest known sauropod dinosaur and the first steps towards sauropod locomotion. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B—Biological Sciences 270: 1753–1758.

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