Blikanasaurus

Blikanasaurus cromptoni is a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaur from the late Triassic of South Africa. The generic name Blikanasaurus is derived from Greek, meaning “lizard from Blikana.” The species name cromptoni is taken from the surname of A.W. “Fuzz” Crompton, an American paleontologist who led numerous field expeditions in Elliot Formation outcrop localities in South Africa. Blikanasaurus is only known from partial hindlimb bones that were recovered from the lower Elliot Formation (LEF) in the Eastern Cape.[1]

Blikanasaurus
Temporal range: Late Triassic, Norian
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Family: Blikanasauridae
Genus: Blikanasaurus
Galton & van Heerden, 1985
Species:
B. cromptoni
Binomial name
Blikanasaurus cromptoni
Galton & van Heerden, 1985

History of Discovery

Blikanasaurus was first discovered by a partial hindlimb (epipodium and pes) found in the lower Elliot Formation (LEF) at the foot of Blikana mountain in Herschel, Eastern Cape of South Africa.[2][3] In the early 2000s, a second specimen - consisting of only a right metatarsal - was recovered from lower Elliot Formation deposits on the farm, Damplaats, in Ladybrand of the eastern Free State.[4][5][6] A possible ilium that has been attributed to Blikanasaurus was found recently, although this remains to be confirmed.

Description

As the two known Blikanasaurus specimens are extremely incomplete, very little is understood of this sauropodomorph taxon. The only information that has been deduced is from the bones of its hindlimb anatomy, which are heavily built. This suggests that Blikanasaurus was thickly set and robust.[7][8][9]

Classification

Due to its robust build, Blikanasaurus is hypothesized to have been an obligate quadruped, unlike what is characteristic of more derived sauropodomorphs. Due to this feature, Blikanasaurus was thought initially to be a basal sauropod. Blikanasaurus is now considered to be a basal sauropodomorph; however, due to the lack of complete specimens, little remains known about this enigmatic taxon.[10] Some paleontologists claimed a case to group Blikanasaurus within the subfamily Blikanasauridae, but this subfamily has not been formally accepted due to it lacking definitive taxa. The cladogram below displays the currently accepted systematics between Blikanasaurus and other sauropodomorphs.

Sauropodiformes

Mussaurus

Aardonyx

Sefapanosaurus

Melanorosauridae

Camelotia

Melanorosaurus

Sauropoda
Lessemsauridae

Antetonitrus

Ingentia

Lessemsaurus

Blikanasaurus

Gongxianosaurus

Pulanesaura

Gravisauria

References

  1. ^ Knoll, Fabien (2004). "Review of the tetrapod fauna of the 'Lower Stormberg Group' of the main Karoo Basin (southern Africa) : Implication for the age of the Lower Elliot Formation". Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France. 175: 73–83. doi:10.2113/175.1.73.
  2. ^ Charig, A. J.; Attridge, J.; Crompton, A. W. (1965). "On the origin of the sauropods and the classification of the Saurischia". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. 176 (2): 197–221. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1965.tb00944.x.
  3. ^ Galton, Peter M.; Van Heerden, Jacques (1985). "Partial hindlimb of Blikanasaurus cromptoni n. gen. And n. Sp.,representing a new family of prosauropod dinosaurs from the upper triassic of South Africa". Geobios. 18 (4): 509–516. doi:10.1016/S0016-6995(85)80003-6.
  4. ^ Yates, Adam M.; Kitching, James W. (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 (1525): 1753–1758. doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2417. PMC 1691423. PMID 12965005.
  5. ^ Yates, Adam M. (2003). "A definite prosauropod dinosaur from the Lower Elliot Formation (Norian: Upper Triassic) of South Africa". Palaeontologia Africana. 39. hdl:10539/16435.
  6. ^ Yates, Adam M. (2008-04-04). "A second specimen of Blikanasaurus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) and the biostratigraphy of the lower Elliot Formation". Palaeontologia Africana. 43. hdl:10539/13807.
  7. ^ Wilson, Jeffrey A. (2005). "Integrating ichnofossil and body fossil records to estimate locomotor posture and spatiotemporal distribution of early sauropod dinosaurs: A stratocladistic approach". Paleobiology. 31 (3): 400–423. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2005)031[0400:IIABFR]2.0.CO;2.
  8. ^ Upchurch, P.; Barrett, P. M.; Galton, P. M. (2007). Barrett, P. M.; Batten, D. J. (eds.). "A phylogenetic analysis of basal sauropodomorph relationships: Implications for the origin of sauropod dinosaurs". Special Papers in Palaeontology. 77: 57–90.
  9. ^ McPhee, Blair W.; Choiniere, Jonah N. (2016). "A hyper-robust sauropodomorph dinosaur ilium from the Upper Triassic–Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa: Implications for the functional diversity of basal Sauropodomorpha". Journal of African Earth Sciences. 123: 177–184. Bibcode:2016JAfES.123..177M. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2016.08.004.
  10. ^ Peyre De Fabrègues, Claire; Allain, Ronan (2016). "New material and revision of Melanorosaurus thabanensis, a basal sauropodomorph from the Upper Triassic of Lesotho". PeerJ. 4: e1639. doi:10.7717/peerj.1639. PMC 4741091. PMID 26855874.
Antetonitrus

Antetonitrus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur found in Early Jurassic rocks in South Africa. The only species is Antetonitrus ingenipes. As one of the oldest known sauropods, it is crucial for the understanding of the origin and early evolution of this group. It was a quadrupedal herbivore, like all of its later relatives, but shows primitive adaptations to use the forelimbs for grasping, instead of purely for weight support.

Blikanasauridae

The Blikanasauridae were a group of early sauropodomorph dinosaurs. The clade was first proposed by Galton and van Heerden in 1985. The family consists of Blikanasaurus and its nearest relatives. However, it is not clear which other genera are included in the family. The family is not used in many current taxonomies; Benton (2004) does not list the clade. The Blikanasaurids were once considered Prosauropods, but new research indicates they may in fact have been basal Sauropods.

Cetiosauridae

Cetiosauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs. While traditionally a wastebasket taxon containing various unrelated species, some recent studies have found that it may represent a natural clade. Additionally, at least one study has suggested that the mamenchisaurids may represent a sub-group of the cetiosaurids, which would be termed Mamenchisaurinae.

Daxiatitan

Daxiatitan is a genus of titanosaur dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Lanzhou Basin, Gansu Province, northwestern China. It is known from fossils including several neck vertebrae, a shoulder blade, and a thigh bone.It was a very large dinosaur, estimated at 23–30 meters (75–98 feet). Like both Euhelopus and Huanghetitan, it had an enormously long neck.

Ferganasaurus

Ferganasaurus was a genus of dinosaur first formally described in 2003 by Alifanov and Averianov. The type species is Ferganasaurus verzilini. It was a sauropod similar to Rhoetosaurus. The fossils were discovered in 1966 in Kyrgyzstan from the Balabansai Formation and date to the Callovian stage of the Middle Jurassic.

Flagellicaudata

Flagellicaudata is a clade of Dinosauria. It belongs to Sauropoda and includes two families, the Dicraeosauridae and the Diplodocidae.

Gongxianosaurus

Gongxianosaurus is a genus of basal sauropod dinosaur from the early Jurassic Period (Toarcian stage). The only species is Gongxianosaurus shibeiensis. Based on four fragmentary to complete specimens found in China (Sichuan Province), it is one of the most completely known early sauropods. The skeleton is known in large part, missing both the hand and the majority of the skull. Gongxianosaurus was firstly named and described in a short note published in 1998; however, a comprehensive description has yet to be published. Gongxianosaurus shibeiensis was named for the place it was found, near the village Shibei in Gong County (珙县; Pinyin: Gǒng Xiàn).

Gravisauria

Gravisauria is a clade of sauropod dinosaurs consisting of some genera, Vulcanodontidae and Eusauropoda.

Huangshanlong

Huangshanlong is a genus of mamenchisaurid dinosaurs native to the Anhui province of China. It contains a single species, Huangshanlong anhuiensis. H. anhuiensis represents, along with Anhuilong and Wannanosaurus, one of three dinosaurs fround in Anhui province.

Jiutaisaurus

Jiutaisaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Quantou Formation of China. Jiutaisaurus was a sauropod which lived during the Cretaceous. The type species, Jiutaisaurus xidiensis, was described by Wu et al. in 2006, and is based on eighteen vertebrae.

Kaijutitan

Kaijutitan (meaning "Kaiju titan" after the type of Japanese movie monsters) is a genus of basal titanosaur dinosaur from the Sierra Barrosa Formation from Neuquén Province in Argentina. The type and only species is Kaijutitan maui.

Ledumahadi

Ledumahadi (meaning "a giant thunderclap" in Sesotho language) is a genus of lessemsaurid sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Elliot Formation in Free State Province, South Africa. The type and only species is L. mafube, known from a singular incomplete postcranial specimen. A quadruped, it was one of the first giant sauropodomorphs, reaching a weight of around 12 tonnes (26,000 lb), despite not having evolved columnar limbs like its later huge relatives.

Pilmatueia

Pilmatueia is a diplodocoid sauropod belonging to the family Dicraeosauridae that lived in Argentina during the Early Cretaceous.

Shunosaurus

Shunosaurus, meaning "shu lizard", is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from Early Jurassic (Oxfordian) beds in Sichuan Province in China, approximately 159±2 million years ago. The name derives from "Shu", an ancient name for the Sichuan province.

Tambatitanis

Tambatitanis is an extinct genus of titanosauriform dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (probably early Albian) of Japan. It is known from a single type species, Tambatitanis amicitiae. It was probably around 14 meters long and its mass was estimated at some 4 tonnes. It was a basal titanosauriform and possibly belonged to the Euhelopodidae.

Tengrisaurus

Tengrisaurus (meaning "Tengri lizard") is a genus of lithostrotian sauropod, from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian-Aptian), of the Murtoi Formation, Russia. It was described in 2017 by Averianov & Skutschas. The type species is T. starkovi.

Vulcanodontidae

The Early Jurassic sauropod dinosaurs Zizhongosaurus, Barapasaurus, Tazoudasaurus, and Vulcanodon may form a natural group of basal sauropods called the Vulcanodontidae. Basal vulcanodonts include some of the earliest known examples of sauropods. The family-level name Vulcanodontidae was erected by M.R. Cooper in 1984. In 1995 Hunt et al. published the opinion that the family is synonymous with the Barapasauridae. One of the key morphological features specific to the family is an unusually narrow sacrum.

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