Kaiwhekea


Genus

Kaiwhekea

Author

Cruickshank and Fordyce, 2002

Classification

Sauropterygia
Eosauropterygia
Eusauropterygia
Pistosauroidea
Pistosauria
Plesiosauria
Plesiosauroidea
Elasmosauridae

Age

Boundary between Upper and Lower Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous

Location

Shag Point (45* 28' S, 170* 49'E) north of the Shag River Mouth, North Otago, South Island, New Zealand

Type species

K. katiki

Other species

None

Referred material

None

Kaiwhekea, also known as the ‘Shag Point Plesiosaur’, was classified as a cryptoclidid by Cruickshank and Fordyce (2002). More recent classifications regard it as an aristonectid. It has an unusually large number of small needle-like teeth and a shortened snout, much like the closely related Aristonectes. Kaiwhekea katiki is the type and only species.

Kaiwhekea katiki

Species

K. katiki

Author

Cruickshank and Fordyce, 2002

Classification

Sauropterygia
Eosauropterygia
Eusauropterygia
Pistosauroidea
Pistosauria
Plesiosauria
Plesiosauroidea
Elasmosauridae
Aristonectinae

Age

Boundary between Upper and Lower Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous

Formation

Lower to Middle Katiki Formation, Dimitobelus hectori Zone (for belemnites) Palaeocystodinium granulatum Subzone (for dinoflagellates)

Type location

Shore platform at Shag Point (45* 28' S, 170* 49'E) north of the Shag River Mouth, North Otago, South Island, New Zealand

Type specimen

OU 12649, an almost complete skull, almost complete vertebral column minus the posterior caudal vertebrae, almost complete ribcage, some gastralia, partial pelvic girdle and associated right hindlimb and fragmentary left hindlimb.

Referred material

None