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

Belongs within: Sauropodomorpha.
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 I longer than metatarsal I.

<==Sauropoda [Atlantosauridae, Vulcanodontidae]
    |--Antetonitrus Yates & Kitching 2003 YK03
    |    `--*A. ingenipes Yates & Kitching 2003 YK03
    `--+--Isanosaurus Buffetaut, Suteethorn et al. 2000 YK03, UBD04
       |    |--*I. attavipachi Buffetaut, Suteethorn et al. 2000 BS00
       |    `--I. russelli D07
       `--+--Vulcanodon Raath 1972 UBD04
          |    `--V. karibaensis Raath 1972 UBD04
          `--+--Eusauropoda R-TCA06
             `--Kotasaurus Yadagiri 1988 UBD04
                  `--K. yamanpalliensis Yadagiri 1988 UBD04

Sauropoda incertae sedis:
  Rhoetosaurus Longman 1926 UBD04
    `--R. brownei Longman 1926 UBD04
  Zizhongosaurus chuanchengensis Dong, Zhou & Zhang 1983 (n. d.) UBD04
  Chinshakiangosaurus chunghoensis Dong 1992 (n. d.) UBD04
  Dystrophaeus Cope 1877 UBD04
    `--*D. viaemalae Cope 1877 C77
  Clasmodosaurus spatula Ameghino 1899 (n. d.) UBD04
  Datousaurus Dong & Tang 1984 UBD04
    `--D. bashanensis Dong & Tang 1984 UBD04
  Morinosaurus typus Sauvage 1874 (n. d.) UBD04
  Ohmdenosaurus Wild 1978 UBD04
    `--O. liasicus Wild 1978 UBD04
  Sanpasaurus yaoi Young 1944 (n. d.) UBD04
  Tapinosaurus (n. d.) N85
  Blikanasaurus Galton & Heerden 1985 UBD04
    `--B. cromptoni Galton & Heerden 1985 UBD04
  Sonidosaurus XT07
  Gongxianosaurus He, Wang et al. 1998 UBD04
    `--G. shibeiensis He, Wang et al. 1998 UBD04
  Xenoposeidon proneneukos Taylor & Naish 2007 N10
  Cardiodon Owen 1840-1845 UBD04
    `--C. rugulosus Owen 1840-1845 [=Cetiosaurus rugulosus] UBD04
  Chuanjiesaurus Fang, Pang et al. 2000 UBD04
    `--C. anaensis Fang, Pang et al. 2000 UBD04
  Tendaguria Bonaparte, Heinrich & Wild 2000 UBD04
    `--T. tanzaniensis Bonaparte, Heinrich & Wild 2000 UBD04
  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
  Tazoudasaurus Allain 2003 D07
    `--T. naimi D07
  Ferganasaurus Alifanov & Averianov 2003 D07
    `--F. verzilini D07
  Chiayusaurus UBD04
    |--C. asianensis Lee, Yang & Park 1997 UBD04
    `--C. lacustris Bohlin 1953 UBD04

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

[C77] Cope, E. D. 1877. Report upon the extinct Vertebrata obtained in New Mexico by parties of the expedition of 1874. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 4 (2): i–iv, 1–370.

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

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

[N85] Norman, D. 1985 (reprinted 2000). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Salamander Books: London.

[R-TCA06] Royo-Torres, R., A. Cobos & L. Alcal√°. 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. Osm√≥lska (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.

Last updated: 6 August 2017.

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