Facts about Plesiosaurs, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Plesiosaurs

Plesiosaurs



Plesiosaur
Click here for more Plesiosaur Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Sauropterygia
  Order Plesiosauria
  Suborder Plesiosauroidea
Plesiosaurs were a group of aquatic reptiles that lived in both marine and freshwater environments. They evolved during the early Jurassic period or late Triassic period, from Nothosaurs, and went extinct during the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction.

Plesiosaurs had a broad body, short tail, and four limb flippers. The term "Plesiosaur" includes the so-called "true Plesiosaurs", which had a long necks, and the Pliosaurs which had shorter necks and a larger head. Plesiosaurs varied greatly in size, the adults varying between 10 feet (3 meters) and 66 feet (20 meters) in length, depending on the particular species. Perhaps the most remarkable are the family of Plesiosaurs known as "Elasmosauridae", which includes species such as Elasmosaurus and Thalassomedon, who had necks that made up half or more of the length of the creature.

Plesiosaurs are often drawn with their necks positioned upwards in a swan-like posture. However, this is now thought to be unlikely to be an accurate depiction - it is thought they necks were probably not flexible enough to do this, and, in any case, such a posture would probably have tipped them over.

In life, Plesiosaurs are believed to have been the top ("apex") predators of the oceans. It is thought perhaps they swam slowly below the surface of the water, and then used their long necks to position to snap up fish or cephalopods. Stones have been found in the stomach area of some Plesiosaurs (including Thalassomedon), and it is thought perhaps that these were used as ballast and/or as an aid to digestion (similar to gizzard stones in modern birds being used to grind up food).

The first recorded Plesiosaur fossils were found in England - these include a partial skeleton found by Stukely in Nottinghamshire in 1719, and others found by Mary Anning. As a result of this, an impressive collection of Plesiosaur fossils are now found in the Natural History Museum and London.

A number of alleged lake monsters (animals supposedly living in freshwater lakes) are sometimes claimed to be living Plesiosaurs. These include Champ which supposedly lives in Lake Champlain in the United States, Ogopogo which supposedly lives in Lake Okanagan in Canada, and most famously of all, Nessie which supposedly lives in Loch Ness in Scotland. Mainstream scientists are generally skeptical of these claims for a variety of reasons including lack of physical evidence, the lakes are generally too small to support a viable breeding population, the lakes are often too cold, and bodies of dead animals have not been found. Cryptozoologists (people who search for rumored or mythical creatures whose existence is uncertain), and of course tourists to these areas, however continue to look for these creatures.

Plesiosaurs Timeline:



Plesiosaurs were marine reptiles that lived between 228 and 65 million years ago

Plesiosaurs were marine reptiles that lived between 228 and 65 million years ago


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Plesiosaur Books


Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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Swimming with the Plesiosaur (Dinosaur Cove)
By Rex Stone

Scholastic Paperbacks
Mass Market Paperback (80 pages)

Swimming with the Plesiosaur (Dinosaur Cove)
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Product Description:
Everyone is digging this dino-mite adventure series!

Tom and Jamie can't believe their luck when they find a secret entrance to a prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs! They vow to have a new adventure every day.

Loaded with snorkeling gear, the boys decide to explore the cove itself. They have fun with the dolphin-like ichthyosaurs in the bay, and even tempt Wanna out into the water. But there are some not-so-friendly creatures lurking, including a hungry plesiosaur that wants a snack! Can the boys save their dinosaur friends-and themselves-from the deadliest creature in the prehistoric ocean?
Just A Girl Who Loves Plesiosaur: Plesiosaur Gifts Notebooks And Journals to Write In | For Plesiosaur Lovers
By Dezign Press

Independently published
Paperback (120 pages)

Just A Girl Who Loves Plesiosaur: Plesiosaur Gifts Notebooks And Journals to Write In | For Plesiosaur Lovers
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Product Description:

Just A Girl Who Loves Plesiosaur

Simple blank line journal / notebook / diary to write in. You can use it to create task lists, checklists, record all passwords, schedule appointments or even just using it for practice handwriting all in one place.

It makes a great gifts for birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and any special occasions or holidays!

Product Description:

  • Size: 6" x 9" (Perfect size to bring with you anywhere you go)
  • Page: 120
  • Cover: Uniquely designed matte finishing cover

Grab your copy now or give it to your friends or even your loved ones!

Plesiosaur Peril (Tales of Prehistoric Life)
By Daniel Loxton

Kids Can Press
Released: 2014-03-01
Hardcover (32 pages)

Plesiosaur Peril (Tales of Prehistoric Life)
List Price: $16.95*
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Product Description:
In the Tales of Prehistoric Life series, award-winning author and illustrator Daniel Loxton uses stunningly realistic, state-of-the-art, computer-generated images to vividly re-create the undersea world of the Jurassic period. Featured here are creatures called plesiosaurs, marine reptiles distantly related to land-based dinosaurs. We follow the tale of a baby Cryptoclidus, a type of plesiosaur, whose curiosity about her new world in the ocean leads her to wander away from her mother and the rest of her protective pod. As the baby happily explores and plays, she is suddenly confronted by an enormous Liopleurodon, a predatory and much larger plesiosaur. In a highly dramatic scene, the baby, with the help of the rest of her pod, makes a narrow escape from becoming the Liopleurodon's dinner.

The exciting adventure story and high-impact digital illustrations, each covering a two-page spread, will captivate children of this age, particularly boys, who are huge fans of prehistoric animals. But the book is also a terrific source of factual scientific information about the lives of plesiosaurs, their ocean habitat, the ocean's other inhabitants and the ways these creatures interacted with each other. As a special bonus, there is an information page describing these plesiosaurs at the back of the book. With its photo-realistic illustrations, this book would make an excellent resource for life science lessons on prehistoric animals and their environments, evolution and how modern scientists use their discoveries to make deductions about the animals of the distant past.
Ancient Animals: Plesiosaur
By Sarah L. Thomson

Charlesbridge
Released: 2017-07-18
Hardcover (32 pages)

Ancient Animals: Plesiosaur
List Price: $12.99*
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Product Description:
Ninety million years ago, giant dinosaurs roamed the earth, pterosaurs flew through the air, and giant reptiles and fish hunted in the oceans. The area that is now Kansas was covered by water and one of its inhabi-tants was the plesiosaur—a reptile with an extremely long neck and a huge body.

This early reader about the ancient plesiosaur brings the prehistoric world of this ocean-dwelling animal to life, explain-ing how scientists think these reptiles lived, hunted, and became extinct. Back matter explores other reptiles both ancient and modern and provides additional print, visual, and web resources.
Plesiosaur Make Me Happy You Not So Much: Plesiosaur Gifts Lined Notebooks, Journals, Planners and Diaries to Write In | For Plesiosaur Lovers
By Starry Bubbles

Independently published
Paperback (120 pages)

Plesiosaur Make Me Happy You Not So Much: Plesiosaur Gifts Lined Notebooks, Journals, Planners and Diaries to Write In | For Plesiosaur Lovers
List Price: $7.01*
Lowest New Price: $7.01*
Usually ships in 24 hours*
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Product Description:

Plesiosaur Make Me Happy You Not So Much

Simple blank line journal / notebook / diary to write in. You can use it to create task lists, checklists, record all passwords, schedule appointments or even just using it for practice handwriting all in one place.

It makes a great gifts for birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and any special occasions or holidays!

Product Description:

  • Size: 6" x 9" (Perfect size to bring with you anywhere you go)
  • Page: 120
  • Cover: Uniquely designed matte finishing cover

Grab your copy now or give it to your friends or even your loved ones!

Plesiosaurs (Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures)
By Susan H. Gray

Core Learning Library
Released: 2014-01-01
Kindle Edition (32 pages)

Plesiosaurs (Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures)
 
Product Description:
Sharp teeth and excellent hunting and swimming skills made plesiosaurs dangerous additions to prehistoric oceans. Young readers will get a glimpse of what life was like for these fierce predators as they scoured the waves in search of their next meal.
Dinosaurs!!! Kid's Book About Plesiosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (Also known as Plesiosaurus) (Awesome Facts & Pictures for Kids about Dinosaurs 5)
By Nathanial E J Hogan

Electronic Desktop Solutions Pty Ltd
Released: 2014-02-23
Kindle Edition (12 pages)

Dinosaurs!!! Kid s Book About Plesiosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (Also known as Plesiosaurus) (Awesome Facts & Pictures for Kids about Dinosaurs 5)
 
Product Description:
Plesiosaurs! Plesiosaurus!!

By Nathanial E J Hogan Age 8, "Dinosaurs!!! Kid's Book About Plesiosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (Also known as Plesiosaurus).
Awesome Facts & Pictures for Kids about Dinosaurs" is an awesome non-fiction ebook with many colourful pictures that look great on Kindles, Ipads, mobiles and many other tablet-style hand-held devices.

The facts are presented in easy to read 'bite-sized' sections accompanied by a picture to help children not only learn about Plesiosaurs but to also enjoy reading about these famous dinosaurs. A perfect way for kids of all ages to learn.

"...Plesiosaurs.." is also great for parents to read to children who are not yet ready to read for themselves. This gives parents a great opportunity to discuss their children's favourite subject with them and to explain things further.

Dinosaurs have always stimulated the imagination of kids and what better way to start your kids' interest in dinosaurs than with this easy to read guide with dinosaur pictures. They'll be roaring with delight!
North American Plesiosaurs: Volume Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.2, No.1
By Samuel Wendell Williston

Palala Press
Hardcover (208 pages)

North American Plesiosaurs: Volume Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.2, No.1
List Price: $24.95*
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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

All I Care About Is Plesiosaur And Like Maybe 3 People: Plesiosaur Gifts Lined Notebooks, Journals, Planners and Diaries to Write In | For Plesiosaur Lovers
By Dazzle Bubbles

Independently published
Paperback (120 pages)

All I Care About Is Plesiosaur And Like Maybe 3 People: Plesiosaur Gifts Lined Notebooks, Journals, Planners and Diaries to Write In | For Plesiosaur Lovers
List Price: $6.99*
Lowest New Price: $6.99*
Usually ships in 24 hours*
*(As of 20:52 Pacific 14 Oct 2019 More Info)


Click Here
Product Description:

All I Care About Is Plesiosaur And Like Maybe 3 People

Simple blank line journal / notebook / diary to write in. You can use it to create task lists, checklists, record all passwords, schedule appointments or even just using it for practice handwriting all in one place.

It makes a great gifts for birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and any special occasions or holidays!

Product Description:

  • Size: 6" x 9" (Perfect size to bring with you anywhere you go)
  • Page: 120
  • Cover: Uniquely designed matte finishing cover

Grab your copy now or give it to your friends or even your loved ones!

Night of the Living Dead Plesiosaurs
By Scott Mardis

Released: 2019-03-27
Kindle Edition

Night of the Living Dead Plesiosaurs
 
Product Description:
An inquiry into Post-Cretaceous Marine Reptile Anomalies and related phenomena.


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