melanorosaurus

Day 21: Melanorosaurus, “black mountain lizard”

This here’s a basal sauropodomorph from Triassic South Africa. What the heck is a basal sauropodomorph, you ask? 

Basal refers to the root of the phylogenetic tree, meaning it is dinosaur placed in a base branch on the tree.
A sauropodomorph is essentially a type of long-necked dinosaur that includes sauropods (“long-necked dinos” like Apatosaurus) and their ancestral relatives.
So, a basal sauropodomorph such as Melanorosaurus would be Apatosaurus’ ancestral relative.

To see an example of the sauropodomorph phylogenetic tree, check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauropodomorpha#Phylogeny