An artist's rendering of a family of Massospondylus
|Mass:||approx. 1000 kg|
|Historical period:||Early Jurassic|
|Habitat:||South Africa and US|
Massospondylus (Greek for 'Massive Vertebra') was a prosauropod that inhabited Southern Africa during the Early Jurassic period, measuring four to six meters in length and a ton in weight and named and described by Sir Richard Owen in 1854. Similarly to few other prosauropods, it too possessed a pair of thumb claws either used for defending itself or its young against predators or potentially as a feeding tool (perhaps it may even be used for both).
They swallowed pebbles to digest leaves and branches. It was a high browser, rearing up to its hind legs for its tree food.