Category «Anatomy»

Why did elasmosaurids have such a long neck?

It was once common knowledge that elasmosaurid plesiosaurs were bendy-necked beasts that swanned about near the surface, striking snake-like at slippery prey. It is now common knowledge that their necks were relatively rigid rod-like structures, the function of which remains something of a mystery. The truth, with regard to flexibility at least, is probably somewhere …

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 …

Recent plesiosaur papers – a round up

So far, 2008 has seen a healthy number of new papers on plesiosaurs and a few new taxa too. Way back in February, Druckenmiller and Russell (2008a) introduced Nichollsia borealis, a plesiosaur of uncertain affinity, based on a beautifully preserved specimen from Alberta, Canada. More recently, Druckenmiller and Russell (2008b) published a large scale cladistic …

Two new species of polycotylid plesiosaurs

The second paper in the two-part report on by Albright et al. on plesiosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous Tropic Shale of southern Utah (Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology, Volume 27(1) p. 41-58), introduces two new genera and species of polycotylid plesiosaur and contributes to the systematics of polycotylid plesiosaurs. The first new genus and species, Palmula …