The ‘Honington plesiosaur’ goes on show at Warwickshire Museum

Most museum collections contain hidden treasures, but the Honington plesiosaur in the Warwickshire Museum is one treasure, I’m pleased to say, that is no longer hidden. I first came across the Honington plesiosaur while working in the geological collection  of the Warwickshire Museum under the supervision of Jon Radley, the curator of natural sciences. While …

The Planet Dinosaur plesiosaurs (part 2)

So, time for more Planet Dinosaur plesiosaurs… In part 1 of we familiarised ourselves with the taxonomy and appearance of the plesiosaurian stars of the fourth episode of the BBC’s Planet Dinosaur, ‘Fight for Life’. Now we’re all set up to pick apart, with ruthless abandon, the animators’ painstaking efforts to bring these animals to …

An old debate settled – plesiosaurs gave birth to live young

An exciting new paper published this week in the journal Science (Vol. 333, p.870-873) provides the first direct evidence for live birth in plesiosaurs, and may have implications for plesiosaur behaviour (O’Keefe & Chiappe, 2011). Whether plesiosaurs laid eggs or gave birth to live young has been a topic of speculation for nearly 200 years. …

Prepared ‘Kreis Hoxter plesiosaur’ is new taxon

I previously reported (see here and here) on the plesiosauroid skeleton discovered in 2007 in Kreis Hoxter, near Bielefeld, Northern Germany. The specimen was excavated from the Pliensbachian (Lower Jurassic) age strata in ten large blocks by the LWL-Museum für Naturkunde, Münsterand. A major proportion of the fossil has now been prepared by Manfred Schlösser: the …

Mine’s bigger than yours! The Monster of Aramberri, Predator X, and other monster pliosaurs in the media

During the past decade several dramatically named giant pliosaurs have hit the mainstream media, many claiming to be the biggest yet discovered. But only a trickle of peer-reviewed literature has been published to accompany these news stories. The lack of published data makes it really difficult to sift the facts from the fiction, and it’s …

New plesiosaur replicas for 2011

A couple of new plesiosaur figures will be released in 2011, both from blossoming company CollectA. As a UK-based company CollectA has a tendency to choose British taxa, sometimes rather obscure ones. So forget Elasmosaurus or Kronosaurus, CollectA have gone out of their way to produce the first ever replica of two wonderful British Jurassic …