Prehistoric Models: Plesiosaurs

Plesiosaurs meaning “near to lizard”, are a group of marine reptiles that first appear in the fossil record during the end of the Triassic Period and go extinct with the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Pliosaurs are a subgroup of plesiosaurs with some of the largest predatory jaws in the history of life on Earth! To see my plesiosaur fossils click here.

Plesiosaurs

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Diapsida – Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Clade: Neoplesiosauria – Superfamily: Plesiosauroidea

(plesiosaurs)

Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous

 

Name: Plesiosaurus ‭”Almost lizard‭”

Pronounced: Pleh-see-oh-sore-us

Named By: William Conybeare‭ & ‬Henry De la Beche‭ ‬-‭ ‬1821

Species: P.‭ ‬dolichodeirus ‭(‬type‭)

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Superfamily: Plesiosauroidea – Family: Plesiosauridae

Size: 3.5 ‬meters long

Known locations: England‭; ‬Lias Group

Time period: Jurassic (Sinemurian)

Diet: Piscivore

Name: Attenborosaurus  ‭”Attenborough’s lizard‭”

Pronounced: At-ten-bo-ro-sore-us

Named By: Robert T.‭ ‬Bakker‭ ‬-‭ ‬1993

Species: A.‭ ‬conybeari ‭(‬type‭)

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Superfamily: Plesiosauroidea – Family: Plesiosauridae

Size: 5 ‬meters long

Known locations: England‭; ‬Dorset

Time period: Early Jurassic

Diet: Piscivore

Name: Hydrotherosaurus  ‭”Water beast lizard‭”

Pronounced: Hy-dro-fee-roe-sore-us

Named By: Samuel Paul Welles‭ ‬-‭ ‬1943

Species: H.‭ ‬alexandrae ‭(‬type‭)

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Superfamily: Plesiosauroidea – Family: Elasmosauridae

Size: 8 ‬meters long

Known locations: USA‭ ‬-‭ ‬California‭ ‬-‭ ‬Moreno Formation

Time period: Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)

Diet: Piscivore

Name: Elasmosaurus ‭”Thin plate lizard‭”

Pronounced: El-lazz-mo-sore-us

Named By: Edward Drinker Cope‭ ‬-‭ ‬1868

Species: E.‭ ‬platyurus‭ (‬type‭)

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Family: Elasmosauridae

Size: 13-14‭ ‬meters long

Known locations: England‭; ‬Kimmeridge Clay Formation, and Norway; Svalbard, Spitsbergen

Time period: Cretaceous (Campanian)

Diet: Piscivore

Name: Elasmosaurus ‭”Thin plate lizard‭”

Pronounced: El-lazz-mo-sore-us

Named By: Edward Drinker Cope‭ ‬-‭ ‬1868

Species: E.‭ ‬platyurus‭ (‬type‭)

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Family: Elasmosauridae

Size: 13-14‭ ‬meters long

Known locations: England‭; ‬Kimmeridge Clay Formation, and Norway; Svalbard, Spitsbergen

Time period: Cretaceous (Campanian)

Diet: Piscivore

Name: Thalassomedon ‭”Sea lord‭”

Pronounced: Fal-las-so-me-don

Named By: Samuel Paul Welles‭ ‬-‭ ‬1943

Species: T.‭ ‬hanningtoni ‭(‬type‭)

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Superfamily: Plesiosauroidea – Family: Elasmosauridae

Size: 12 ‬meters long

Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Colorado‭ – Graneros Shale Formation, and ‬Montana – Belle Fourche Formation

Time period: Cretaceous (Cenomanian)

Diet: Piscivore

Name: Dolichorhynchops‭ “Long-nosed eye‭‭‭”

Pronounced: Dol-lee-kor-rin-chops

Named By: Samuel Wendell Williston‭ ‬-‭ ‬1902

Species: D.‭ ‬osborni‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬herschelensis,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬tropicensis

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: ‬Plesiosauria – Suborder: Plesiosauroidea – Family: Polycotylidae

Size: 3‭ ‬meters long

Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬Saskatchewan;‭ ‬Bearpaw Formation.‭ ‬USA,‭ ‬Kansas;‭ ‬Smokey Hill Chalk‭ & ‬Fort Hays Limestone,‭ ‬Utah‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tropic Shale

Time period: Cretaceous (Turonian to Campanian)

Diet: Carnivore

Pliosaurs

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Diapsida – Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: Plesiosauria – Clade: Neoplesiosauria – Suborder: Pliosauroidea

(pliosaurs)

Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous

 

Name: Liopleurodon ‭ “Smooth sided teeth‭”

Pronounced: Lie-oh-ploor-oh-don

Named By: Henri-Émile Sauvage – 1873

Species: L. ferox (type), L. pachydeirus

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: ‬Plesiosauria – Suborder: Pliosauroidea – Family: Pliosauridae

Size: 6.39 meters long

Known locations: England, France and Germany

Time period: Late Jurassic (Callovian to Tithonian)

Diet: Carnivore

Name: Pliosaurus ‭”More lizard‭”

Pronounced: Ply-oh-sore-us.

Named By: Richard Owen‭ ‬-‭ ‬1841

Species: P. brachydeirus (type), P. almanzaensis, P. brachyspondylus, P. carpenteri, P. funkei, P. kevani, P. macromerus, P. patagonicus, P. portentificus, P. rossicus, P. westburyensis.

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: ‬Plesiosauria – Suborder: Pliosauroidea – Family: Pliosauridae

Size: Some species up to‭ ‬10‭ ‬meters long, with‭ ‬skulls approximately‭ ‬2‭ ‬meters long

Known locations: England‭; ‬Kimmeridge Clay Formation, and Norway; Svalbard, Spitsbergen

Time period: Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian)

Diet: Carnivore

Name: Kronosaurus ‭ “Kronus lizard‭ ‬-‭ ‬after the king of the Greek Titans‭‭”

Pronounced: Krow-no-sore-us

Named By: Longman‭ ‬-‭ ‬1924

Species: K.‭ ‬queenslandicus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬K.‭ ‬boyacensis

Classification: Superorder: Sauropterygia – Order: ‬Plesiosauria – Suborder: Pliosauroidea – Family: Pliosauridae

Size: 9‭ ‬to ‬10‭ ‬meters long.‭ ‬Skull‭ ‬2.7‭ ‬meters long

Known locations: Australia and‭ ‬Colombia

Time period: Early Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)

Diet: Carnivore

The videos below are from my YouTube channel Jurassic James 65:

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