Dinosaur Antetonitrus Set the Stage for Sauropods
Do you wanna evolve a sauropod? The Triassic’s the perfect time. Down on four legs instead of two, I’m telling you, these were dinos in their prime.
Sorry. Had to get that out of my system.
But the Triassic really was the time when those famous long-necked dinosaurs – the sauropods – initially evolved. Scrappy fossil finds have allowed paleontologists to draw back the origin of these prodigious plant-eaters to about 208 million years ago, a scant 8 million years before a mass extinction cleared the ecological decks for them to proliferate and grow into the famous Jurassic giants we adore.
Sauropods didn’t pop out of thin air, of course. They evolved from ancestors called sauropodomorphs – gawky