Category «Elasmosauridae»

Morturneria

The taxon was originally named ‘Turneria seymourensis‘ by Chatterjee and Small (1989) but this genus was preoccupied and so Chatterjee and Creisler (1994) later revised the name to Morturneria seymourensis. The holotype specimen is TTU P 9219, an incomplete skull and mandible plus associated cervical vertebrae, from the Lopez de Bertodano Formation of Seymour Island, …

Libonectes

Libonectes skull

Libonectes was erected for ‘Elasmosaurus morgani’. The pectoral girdle and a forelimb of the holotype are figured (most recently by Welles 1962, fig. 12) but now lost (Carpenter 1999). Libonectes morgani (Welles, 1949) is the type and only species. Type material of L. morgani (SMUSMP 69120) consists of a skull, cervical vertebrae and gastralia, from the …

Hydrotherosaurus

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 …

Elasmosaurus

Elasmosaurus is one of the most widely recognised plesiosaur names and has become a stereotype for all elasmosaurids. However, it is relatively poorly known. The type and only known specimen of Elasmosaurus platyurus (ANSP 10081) includes the tip of the snout, occipital condyle, and the majority of the vertebral column. It is from the Sharon …

Aristonectes

The mysterious plesiosaur Aristonectes is notable for its mouthful of pin-like teeth. A special feeding guild, the ‘trap guild’, has been proposed to accommodate Aristonectes and other plesiosaurs with similar dentition (Chatterjee and Small, 1989) such as Cryptoclidus, Kimmerosaurus, and Kaiwhekea. These plesiosaurs may have fed in a similar manner to the extant crabeater seal, …

Albertonectes

The holotype specimen (TMP 2007.0110001) consists of an almost complete skeleton lacking a skull. The neck contains 76 cervical vertebrae. This is a unique character of Albertonectes vanderveldei and the highest number of neck vertebrae known for any plesiosaur, surpassing the previous record-holder (Elasmosaurus) by four vertebrae. The distal-most caudal vertebrae (27th to 33rd) of Albertonectes …

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 …

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 …