Named By: Galton and van Heerden - 1985.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha.
Species: B. cromptoni (type).
Size: Unknown due to lack of fossils.
Known locations: South Africa - Cape Province - Elliot Formation.
Time period: Late Triassic.
Fossil representation: Left lower hind leg.
only known from a single limb section, a lot can actually be inferred
about this dinosaur. One is that the shape and form of the limb
reveals it is from a sauropodomorph dinosaur, better known as the
ancestors of the sauropods like the later Apatosaurus
In additional the foot is proportionately much shorter
than earlier forms which reveals that Blikanasaurus
quadrupedal for most if not all of the time (earlier sauropodomorphs
are generally regarded as switching between quadrupedal and bipedal
postures as the situation dictated). Also, since the
Blikanasaurus holotype comes from a late Triassic
age deposit in South
Africa, it reinforces the theory that the dinosaurs had their point
of origin in South America and then radiated out across the globe when
the continents were still mostly joined together.
However, while Blikanasaurus is a sauropodomorph, it was probably not an ancestor of the later sauropod giants that were common by the late Jurassic. The Blikanasaurus holotype also reveals the fifth toe is severely reduced in size to what it was in later forms. This indicates that Blikanasaurus was probably an evolutionary side branch that terminated without any long lasting descendants because the later sauropods are so far all known to have well developed fifth toes to assist with weight bearing.