Category «Plesiosauroidea»

Plesiosauroidea

The superfamily Plesiosauroidea is one of the two major traditional divisions of plesiosaurs, the group that typically have long necks. The other major group (superfamily) of plesiosaurs is the Pliosauroidea (often just called pliosaurs). During the 1990s and 2000s, this simple division of plesiosaurs into two superfamilies was called into question and multiple studies have …

Plesiosaurus

Plesiosaurus was the first plesiosaur discovered and named. For a long time Plesiosaurus was treated as waste-basket taxon. This means that many different specimens were allocated to the genus Plesiosaurus under different species names, even when they were very different. By modern standards, many of these specimens deserve a generic name of their own, or …

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 …

Book review: Plesiosaur Peril by Daniel Loxton

In Plesiosaur Peril, author Daniel Loxton plunges us into the Jurassic ocean, to recount a day in the life of a baby Cryptoclidus. The book is the third in Loxton’s ‘Tales of Prehistoric Life’ series, which includes the stories Ankylosaur Attack and Pterosaur Troubles. In this short children’s story we follow a juvenile Cryptoclidus and the rest …

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 …

The name game: Plesiosaur-ia, -oidea, -idae, or -us?

Proper taxonomic names, with formal suffixes, can be confusing at the best of times. But when they include identical prefixes their meaning can be further complicated. For example, to what taxonomic group does the colloquial term ‘plesiosaur’ refer: Plesiosauria, Plesiosauroidea, Plesiosauridae, or Plesiosaurus? With all these similar sounding names it is not surprising that laypersons and specialists alike may have …

Long-necked plesiosaur discovered in northern Germany

A four-metre-long plesiosaur skeleton has been discovered by in Northern Germany by an amateur palaeontologist. 19-year-old fossil collector Sönke Simonsen discovered the specimen in June whilst looking for fossils with his dad in a quarry at Tongrube in Kreis Hoxter, near Bielefeld. “The first thing I discovered was a caudal-vertebra” said Simonsen, “but then I …