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Meroktenos, new sauropodomorph from Upper Triassic of Lesotho; Melanorosaurus revised (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper in PeerJ:

Claire Peyre de Fabrègues &, Ronan Allain (2016)
New material and revision of Melanorosaurus thabanensis, a basal
sauropodomorph from the Upper Triassic of Lesotho.
PeerJ 4:e1639
doi: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1639



Melanorosaurus is a genus of basal sauropodomorph that currently
includes two species from Southern Africa. In this paper, we
redescribe the holotype femur of Melanorosaurus thabanensis from the
Elliot Formation of Lesotho, as well as associated remains. The
stratigraphic position of this taxon is reviewed, and it is clear that
it comes from the Lower Elliot Formation being, therefore, Late
Triassic in age, and not Early Jurassic as originally described. The
knowledge of the anatomy of the basal sauropodomorph of Thabana Morena
is enhanced by the description of six new skeletal elements from the
type locality. The femur and the ilium from Thabana Morena are
diagnostic and characterized by unusual proportions. The first
phylogenetic analysis including both this specimen and Melanorosaurus
is conducted. This analysis leads to the conclusion that the femur
described in the original publication of Melanorosaurus thabanensis
can no longer be referred to Melanorosaurus. For these reasons, we
hereby create Meroktenos gen. nov. to encompass Meroktenos thabanensis
comb. nov.