Temporal range: Lower Jurassic Hettangian–Sinemurian
Gryponyx africanus is known from the holotype SAM 3357-59, a nearly complete postcranial skeleton which includes partial vertebral column, pelvis, both forelimbs and both hindlimbs. Gryponyx has been estimated to have been about 5 m (16 ft) in length. It was collected from the Upper Elliot Formation of the Stormberg Group (Karoo Basin), dating to the Hettangian to Sinemurian stages of the Lower Jurassic period.
It was originally described by Broom (1911) as a theropod. Huene (1932) named the family Gryponychidae to contain Gryponyx and Aetonyx and placed it within Carnosauria. Galton and Cluver synonymized G. africanus with Massospondylus harriesi in 1976, which was in turn synonymized by Michael Cooper in 1981 with Massospondylus carinatus (and today M. harriesi is considered to be a nomen dubium). However, Vasconcelos and Yates (2004) found Gryponyx to be distinctive enough from other basal sauropodomorphs to be placed in its own genus. They found that it differs from other taxa by the following characteristics: total length of metacarpal I exceeds maximum proximal width and a long, narrow pubic apron with straight lateral margins. Although this publication wasn't formal, they conducted a cladistic analysis using Yates (2004) sauropodomorph matrix and found Gryponyx to be the most basal massospondylid. The same result was found by Lü Junchang et al. (2010). Yates et al. (2010) recovered Gryponyx in a trichotomy with Massospondylidae and Anchisauria. However, Gryponyx has yet to be formally redescribed.
Two additional species of Gryponyx have been described: G. transvaalensis was described on the basis of finger bones and the anterior limb metatarsals from the Late Triassic Bushveld Sandstone Formation, Transvaal. G. taylori was described on the basis of sacral and pelvic rim from the Upper Elliot Formation, southern Free State. Galton and Cluver (1976) synonymized G. taylori with M. harriesi and considered G. transvaalensis to be a nomen dubium. Both G. taylori and G. transvaalensis were synonymized by Michael Cooper (1981) with M. carinatus and Galton and Upchurch (2004) considered them to be dubious.
Gryponyx was first named by Robert Broom in 1911 and the type species is Gryponyx africanus. The generic name is derived from grypos, Greek for "hooked" and onyx, Greek for "claw". The specific name refers to Africa, where the holotype was discovered.
The Anchisauria were a clade of sauropodomorph dinosaurs that lived during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. The name Anchisauria was first used by Galton and Upchurch in the second edition of The Dinosauria. Galton and Upchurch assigned two families of dinosaurs to the Anchisauria: the Anchisauridae and the Melanorosauridae. The more common prosauropods Plateosaurus and Massospondylus were placed in the sister clade Plateosauria.
However, recent research indicates that Anchisaurus is closer to sauropods than traditional prosauropods; thus, Anchisauria would also include Sauropoda.The following cladogram simplified after an analysis presented by Blair McPhee and colleagues in 2014.Averostra
Averostra, or "bird snouts", is a clade that includes most theropod dinosaurs that have a promaxillary fenestra (fenestra promaxillaris), an extra opening in the front outer side of the maxilla, the bone that makes up the upper jaw. Two groups of averostrans, the Ceratosauria and the Orionides, survived into the Cretaceous period. When the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event occurred, ceratosaurians and two groups of orionideans within the clade Coelurosauria, the Tyrannosauroidea and Maniraptoriformes, were still extant. Only one subgroup of maniraptoriformes, Aves, survived the extinction event and persisted to the present day.Avetheropoda
Avetheropoda, or "bird theropods", is a clade that includes carnosaurians and coelurosaurs to the exclusion of other dinosaurs.Cerapoda
Cerapoda ("ceratopsians and ornithopods") is a clade of the dinosaur order Ornithischia.Dinosauriformes
Dinosauriformes is a clade of archosaurian reptiles that include the dinosaurs and their most immediate relatives. All dinosauriformes are distinguished by several features, such as shortened forelimbs and a partially to fully perforated acetabulum, the hole in the hip socket traditionally used to define dinosaurs. The oldest known member is Asilisaurus, dating to about 245 million years ago in the Anisian age of the middle Triassic period.Haya griva
Haya is an extinct genus of basal neornithischian dinosaur known from Mongolia.Jeholosauridae
Jeholosaurids were herbivorous neornithischian dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period (Aptian - Santonian, with a possible Campanian record) of Asia. The family was first proposed by Han et al. in 2012. The jeholosaurids were defined as those ornithischians more closely related to Jeholosaurus shangyuanensis than to Hypsilophodon foxii, Iguanodon bernissartensis, Protoceratops andrewsi, Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis, or Thescelosaurus neglectus. The Jeholosauridae includes the type genus Jeholosaurus and Yueosaurus.Jingshanosaurus
Jingshanosaurus (meaning "Jingshan lizard") is a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaurs from the early Jurassic period.Melanorosauridae
The Melanorosauridae were a family of sauropodomorph dinosaurs which lived during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. The name Melanorosauridae was first coined by Friedrich von Huene in 1929. Huene assigned several families of dinosaurs to the infraorder "Prosauropoda": the Anchisauridae, the Plateosauridae, the Thecodontosauridae, and the Melanorosauridae. Since then, these families have undergone numerous revisions. Galton and Upchurch (2004) considered Camelotia, Lessemsaurus, and Melanorosaurus members of the family Melanorosauridae. A more recent study by Yates (2007) indicates that the melanorosaurids were instead early sauropods.Neotheropoda
Neotheropoda (meaning "new theropods") is a clade that includes coelophysoids and more advanced theropod dinosaurs, and the only group of theropods who survived the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Yet all of the neotheropods became extinct during the early Jurassic period except for Averostra.Orionides
Orionides is a clade of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic to the Present. The clade includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds.Orodrominae
Orodrominae is a subfamily of parksosaurid dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia.Plateosauridae
Plateosauridae is a family of plateosaurian sauropodomorphs from the Late Triassic of Europe. Although several dinosaurs have been classified as plateosaurids over the years, the family Plateosauridae is now restricted to Plateosaurus. In another study, Yates (2003) sunk Sellosaurus into Plateosaurus (as P. gracilis).Raeticodactylidae
Raeticodactylidae is a family of eudimorphodontoid eopterosaurian pterosaurs that lived in Switzerland during the Late Triassic. The family includes Caviramus, and the type genus Raeticodactylus, which are both known from the Kössen Formation, around 205 mya. Raeticodactylidae was first used in 2014 by Andres et al., as a group of all pterosaurs closer to Raeticodactylus than Eudimorphodon. The following phylogenetic analysis follows the topology of Andres et al. (2014).Riojasauridae
Riojasauridae is a family of sauropod-like dinosaurs from the Upper Triassic. It is known primarily from the genera Riojasaurus and Eucnemesaurus. Sites containing Riojasauridae include the Lower Elliot Formation of Orange Free State, South Africa (where fossils of Eucnemesaurus have been found), and Ischigualasto, in La Rioja Province, Argentina ( where fossils of Riojasaurus have been recovered).Thescelosaurinae
Thescelosaurinae is a subfamily of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of Asia and the Late Cretaceous of North America.Unaysauridae
Unaysauridae is a family of basal sauropodomorphs from the Late Triassic of India and Brazil.Xixiposaurus
Xixiposaurus is a genus of prosauropod dinosaur which existed in what is now Lower Lufeng Formation, China during the lower Jurassic period. It was first named by Sekiya Toru in 2010 and the type species is Xixiposaurus suni.Yueosaurus
Yueosaurus is an extinct genus of basal ornithopod dinosaur known from Zhejiang Province, China.