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What is Massospondylidae?

Pronunciation: mas-oh-SPON-di-luh-day
Author: Friedrich von Huene
Year: 1914
Meaning: Long vertebrae family (see etymology)
Locomotion: Bipedal (moved on two hind legs)
Synonyms: None known
Definition[Sereno, 2005]
All animals more closely related to Massospondylus carinatus than to Plateosaurus engelhardti and Saltasaurus loricatus.
About
Massospondylids were early non-sauropod sauropodomorph dinosaurs (aka "prosauropods") that existed in Asia, Africa and South America from the Late Triassic to the Early Jurassic periods.

Because knowledge of early sauropodomorph relationships in a state of flux paleontologists can't agree which critters actually belong in Massospondylidae or where it belongs on the dinosaurian branch of the tree of life. Massospondylus aside (it's a shoe-in as the group anchor and type specimen) the likes of Adeopapposaurus, Coloradisaurus, Glacialisaurus, Leyesaurus, Lufengosaurus and Pradhania, and possibly Mussaurus and Xixiposaurus, seem to belong here. Sarahsaurus, Seitaad and Ignavusaurus, who were tentatively assigned to Massospondylidae initially, were recently booted out but they continue to lurk on the outskirts.

Click here to search Dinochecker for massospondylids.
Etymology
Massospondylidae is derived from the Greek "masson" (longer) and "spondylos"' (vertebra), and the Latin "-idae" (family), and is named for the group anchor; Massospondylus.
Relationships
Further reading
• Yates, Adam M. (2003) "Species taxonomy of the sauropodomorph dinosaurs from the Löwenstein Formation (Norian, Late Triassic) of Germany".
• Cecilia Apaldetti, Ricardo N. Martinez, Oscar A. Alcober and Diego Pol (2011) "A New Basal Sauropodomorph (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from Quebrada del Barro Formation (Marayes-El Carrizal Basin), Northwestern Argentina".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DinoChecker FAQ entry :: What is Massospondylidae?"
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurfaqs/what-is-massospondylidae›. Web access: 28th May 2017.
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