Massospondylus carinatus Owen 1854 (Dinosauria: Sauropodomorpha) from the Lower Jurassic of South Africa: Proposed conservation of the usage by designation of a neotype

Yates, Adam M.
Barrett, Paul M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, University of the Witwatersrand
The purpose of this article is to preserve the usage of the binomen Massospondylus carinatus by designating a neotype specimen. Massospondylus is the most abundant basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic strata of southern Africa. This taxon forms the basis for an extensive palaeobiological literature and is the eponym of Massospondylidae and the nominal taxon of a biostratigraphical unit in current usage, the ‘Massospondylus Range Zone’. The syntype series of M. carinatus (five disarticulated and broken vertebrae) was destroyed during World War II, but plaster casts and illustrations of the material survive. Nonetheless, these materials cannot act as type material for this taxon under the rules of the ICZN Code. In order to avoid nomenclatural instability, we hereby designate BP/1/4934 (a skull and largely complete postcranial skeleton) as the neotype of Massospondylus carinatus.
Dinosauria, Sauropodomorpha, Massospondylidae, Massospondylus, Massospondylus carinatus, neotype, South Africa, upper Elliot Formation, Early Jurassic