Pliosaurids are a family of short-necked plesiosaurs within the superfamily Pliosauridae.
They have a lower number of neck vertebrae and are often distinguishable immediately by their huge skulls.
In some genera the skull may reach up to 3 meters in length and constitute about a quarter of the total length of the animal!
Pliosauridae is sister group to a second group of pliosaurs, the Rhomaleosauridae.
The family Brachauchenidae has been proposed to include pliosaurs which have very short necks and lack typical nutritive foramina
on the vertebrae and may include Brachauchenius and Kronosaurus. Characteristics:
- Character 1
- Archaeonectrus (according to O’Keefe 2001)(other classifications regard this as a rhomaleosaurid)
- Attenborosaurus (according to O’Keefe 2001)
- Hauffiosaurus (according to O’Keefe 2001)
‘Stretosaurus’ = Liopleurodon?
Several pliosaurid genera are considered nomina dubia or are regarded as junior synonyms of other genera. The following names are therefore invalid:
- ‘Stretosaurus’ = Liopleurodon?