(Black mountain lizard).
Named By: Sidney H. Haughton - 1924.
Synonyms: Roccosaurus tetrascralis.
Classification: Chrodata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha.
Species: M. readi (type), M. thabanensis.
Size: Up to 8 meters long. Skull 25 centimetres long.
Known locations: South Africa - Elliot Formation.
Time period: Carnian to Norian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Complete skull and partial post cranial remains.
Melanorosaurus is usually referred to as a sauropodomorph although it’s precise position can vary according to different sources. Nevertheless, Melanorosaurus represents a form that is intermediate between the bipedal sauropod ancestors, and the later larger quadrupedal forms. Also while not as grand in size as the later sauropods, at up to eight meters long Melanorosaurus was still one of the largest known land animals of its day.
- The fauna and stratigraphy of the Stormberg Series. - Annals of the South African Museum 12 : 323-497 - S. H. Haughton - 1924.
- Postcranial Anatomy of Referred Specimens of Melanorosaurus. - In Carpenter, Kenneth and Tidswell, Virginia (ed.). Thunder Lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press. pp. 1–37. - P. M. Galton, J. Van Heerden & A. M. Yates - 2005.
- The first complete skull of the Triassic dinosaur Melanorosaurus Haughton (Sauropodomorpha: Anchisauria). - In Barrett & Batten (eds.), Evolution and Palaeobiology (2007), pp. 9–55. - Adam M. Yates.