Hydrotherosaurus


Genus

Hydrotherosaurus

Author

Welles, 1943

Classification

Sauropterygia
Eosauropterygia
Eusauropterygia
Pistosauroidea
Pistosauria
Plesiosauria
Plesiosauroidea
Elasmosauridae

Age

Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous

Location

Panoche hills, south of Moreno Gulch, near Mendota, Freso County, California, USA

Type species

H. alexandrae

Other species

-

Referred material

-

Welles (1943) derived the genus from the word “fisherman”, hence “fisherman lizard”. However, the genus translates more literally as “water beast reptile”.

The type skeleton of Hydrotherosaurus was discovered in the Panoche Hills by Mr. Frank C. Paiva in 1937, and was excavated by the University of California Museum of Palaeontology, Berkeley, and Fresno State College.

The taxon was described in detail by Samuel P. Welles (1943, 1952) and differs most obviously from other elasmosaurids in its cervical vertebral count of 60. Hydrotherosaurus is known from one of the most complete elasmosaurid skeletons ever discovered and is therefore one of the best known members of this family. A cast of the holotype skeleton is on public display in the California Academy of Sciences.

H. alexandrae

Species

H. alexandrae

Author

Welles, 1943

Classification

Sauropterygia
Eosauropterygia
Eusauropterygia
Pistosauroidea
Pistosauria
Plesiosauria
Pliosauroidea
Plesiosauroidea
Elasmosauridae
Hydrotherosaurus

Age

Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous

Formation

Moreno Formation

Type location

Sun Ray gypsum mine in the Panoche hills, south of Moreno Gulch, near Mendota, Freso County, California, USA

Type specimen

U. C. Mus. Pal. no 33912. A nearly complete skeleton.

Referred material

None