Genus author:
Swinton, 1930
Hettangian, Lower Lias, Lower Jurassic
Harbury, Warwickshire, UK
Referred material (sp.):
Type species:

M. tenuiceps

Macroplata has a unique character in its pectoral girdle: a distinct notch on the posterior border of the coracoid. The number of rib facets varies along the cervical vertebral column (27 in total) there is only one in the anterior vertebrae but two in the posterior ones. There are 5 pectorals, 19 dorsals, 4 sacrals and 30 caudals.

Macroplata was named and briefly described by Swinton (1930a) based on a single skeleton from Warwickshire. The skeleton was redescribed in detail by Ketchum and Smith (2010). White (1940) later referred the species Plesiosaurus longirostris to Macroplata, and this species has been wrongly regarded as the holotype of Macroplata by some authors. However, M. tenuiceps is the only valid species of Macroplata (Ketchum and Smith 2010). Benson et al. (2011b) referred material pertaining to ‘M. longirostris’ to Hauffiosaurus under the new combination Hauffiosaurus longirostris.

Type material: BMNH R5488, an almost complete skeleton with the distal parts of the limbs missing.

Skull of Macroplata from Ketchum and Smith (2010)
Macroplata illustration by Wilson
Photograph of Macroplata tenuiceps in situ in Harbury, Warwickshire.
Macroplata model.