Author's note: these pages were written some years ago. I am not planning to update them. For a more current coverage, see the link to palaeos com Palaeos website (to which many links on these pages point to anyway. More info here

Order Sauropodomorpha

Painting © Doug Henderson, reproduced with permission.

The Sauropodamorpha constitute one of the two main groups of herbivorous dinosaurs, the other being the Ornithischia (Predentata).  There are two  main subgroups, the small to large ancestral Prosauropoda and their giant descendents the Sauropoda.  It is possible to trace a progressive morphic sequence from the small lightly built early Thecodontosaurian Prosauropods through the large Plateosaurs, Melanosaurs and Vulcanodonts to the giant Sauropoda of the Jurassic and Cretaceous.  But even the most primitive ancestral prosauropods had the same long neck, tiny head, and weak peg -like teeth as characterised the greatest of the later giants.  The Sauropodamorphs in fact were "pin-headed" herbivores.  They're bodies grew extremely large, but the heads remained tiny.  And like modern ostriches and emus, and extinct moas and elephant birds (Aepyornis), these ancient long necked pinheads swallowed stones  (gastroliths) that remained in the stomach to aid in digestion.  This bird-like stomach processing of food differs greatly from the ornithischian and mammalian grinding teeth oral processing.

Suborder Prosauropoda
 Suborder Sauropoda
early Sauropodamorphs
Giant Jurassic and Cretaceous forms

Trends in Sauropodamorph Evolution


The Sauropod - All Body
Gravity and Levity
Dinosaurs and Kundalini

Dinosaur main page
main page

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page history

page uploaded 9 July 1998
revised 30 October 1998
and again on 12 May, 30 July, & 8 October 1999
and on 17 January 2000
converted to style sheet format 30 December 2000, links updated 16 January 2010

content by M.Alan Kazlev