With about 150 species worldwide, the ungulaped hadrosaurs are a major herbivore clade of the Old World. This group is found throughout Africa, with diverse secondary radiations in Europe and Asia.

    The most distinctive feature of the ungulapeds are the forefeet. Digits 2 and 3 have become fused and the combined unguals protrude from the flesh to form a single large hoof. Digit 4 is reduced and completely internalized however, the 5th digit remains free in all forms except the elumbe and often bears a large claw. All ungulapedes are viviparous, usually giving birth to 1 or 2 fully developed young unlike their egglaying American cousins.

    The ancestry of the ungulapedes is traceable back to Anserodromeus, a small crested basal-hadrosauroid from Paleocene-Early Eocene Africa. Africa, alone amongst the Gondwanan landmasses, seems to have kept it's duckbills after the K-T boundary. Despite a setback in the Late Eocene, the descendents of Anserodromeus flourished and diversified. While many forms became bulky giants, echoing the great herds of the Late Cretaceous, one lineage became agile woodland runners, gaining their distinctive hand-hoof during the Oligocene. With the gradual drying of the African continent as the Neogene progressed, the larger, more conservative hadrosaurs went into decline to the boon of the early ungulapedes which soon spread into the vacated niches.

    The Pliocene was a time of spectacular evolutionary innovation for the ungulapedes with the Afrohadrosauridae becoming the most numerous and diverse herbivores on the continent. When the bridge between Africa and Europe was formed 15 million years ago, they crossed the Sinai into Europe and Asia, quickly supplanting the native eurolophs as the continent's dominant herbivores and evolving into a number of new clades as clade Formosicornea.

    Generally small and completely restricted to southern Africa, the paleoungulapods (confusingly it's "pods" not "pedes") are the most primitive extant members of Ungulapedia.

    About one half of the ungulapedes belong to the family Afrohadrosauridae (the saurolopes). They are largely restricted to Africa with a few species in Asia Minor and India.  South of the Sahara, vast nomadic herds of brightly coloured saurolopes blanket the landscape. Afrohadrosaurids are generally fairly gracile animals with long square-tipped snouts. Most species have between 2-6 narrow squamosal horns but lack any sort of cranial or nasal ornamentation. All saurolopes are at least partial grazers, none survive on a completely leafy diet.
  • Six-horned Saurolope
  • Green Lancehead
  • Bowhorn



        This monotypic family contains the giant browsing hornmeister, the only ungulapede to combine a unicorn-spike and four squamosal horns. Fossil ultracornids considerably larger and smaller than the extant species are known from Mio-Pleistocene Africa and Eurasia. Phylogenetically, the hornmeister falls midway between the Afrohadrosauridae and the formosicorns and seems to represent an early sidebranch on the evolutionary line to Formosicorna.


    Back to Spec

    Hosted by www.Geocities.ws