A new basal sauropodiform from South Africa and the phylogenetic relationships of basal sauropodomorphs
ALEJANDRO OTERO; EMIL KRUPANDAN; DIEGO POL; ANUSUYA CHINSAMY; JONAH CHOINIERE
ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2015 vol. 174 p. 589 - 634
We present a new medium-sized basal sauropodomorph, Sefapanosaurus zastronensis gen. et. sp. nov., from the Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa. It is is represented by parts of the postcranial skeleton of at least four individuals, including: cervical, dorsal, and caudal vertebrae, most of the forelimb, and part of the hindlimb. Sefapanosaurus bears several autapomorphies of the astragalus, and referred material also shows autapomorphic features. The inclusion of Sefapanosaurus in a phylogenetic analysis places it within the group of sauropodomorphs more closely related to sauropods than to Massospondylus (i.e., Sauropodiformes), increasing the currently known diversity of the so-called ?transitional forms? leading to Sauropoda. Character optimization reveals the presence of several features that are common for taxa placed within the transitional branches basal to Sauropoda. Sefapanosaurus, together with other transitional sauropodomorphs reported during the last decade, highlights the importance of Gondwanan taxa for understanding the palaeobiodiversity, the global distribution, and the macroevolutionary changes in the group related to the rise of sauropods.