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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Ancient Animals: Plesiosaur
By Sarah L. Thomson

Charlesbridge
Released: July 18th, 2017
Hardcover (32 pages)

Ancient Animals: Plesiosaur
Lowest New Price: $12.99*
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Description:
Ancient Animals: Plesiosaur
  • Manufacturer: Charlesbridge
  • ISBN: 1580895425
  • EAN: 9781580895422
  • PartNumber: Illustrated
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Sarah L. Thomson
  • Publication Date: July 18th, 2017
  • Release Date: July 18th, 2017
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.63 Inches by 6.31 Inches by 0.33 Inches
  • Weight: 0.49383546688 Pounds
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Swimming with the Plesiosaur (Dinosaur Cove)
By Rex Stone

Scholastic Paperbacks
Released: November 1st, 2009
Mass Market Paperback (80 pages)

Swimming with the Plesiosaur (Dinosaur Cove)
Lowest Used Price: $11.61*
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Description:
Swimming with the Plesiosaur (Dinosaur Cove)
  • Manufacturer: Scholastic Paperbacks
  • Brand: Scholastic Paperbacks
  • ISBN: 054511246X
  • EAN: 9780545112468
  • PartNumber: FBA-|279568
Details:
  • Product Category: Mass Market Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 80
  • Author: Rex Stone
  • Publication Date: November 1st, 2009
  • Release Date: November 1st, 2009
Physical Description:
  • Size: 7.75 Inches by 5.5 Inches by 0.25 Inches
  • Weight: 0.13 Pounds
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Plesiosaur Peril (Tales of Prehistoric Life)
By Daniel Loxton

Kids Can Press
Released: March 1st, 2014
Hardcover (32 pages)

Plesiosaur Peril (Tales of Prehistoric Life)
Lowest New Price: $16.95*
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Description:
Plesiosaur Peril (Tales of Prehistoric Life)
  • Manufacturer: Kids Can Press
  • ISBN: 1554536332
  • EAN: 9781554536337
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Daniel Loxton
  • Publication Date: March 1st, 2014
  • Release Date: March 1st, 2014
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.25 Inches by 8.75 Inches by 0.375 Inches
  • Weight: 0.92 Pounds
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Paleoart. Visions of the Prehistoric Past
By Zoë Lescaze

Taschen
Released: September 13th, 2017
Hardcover (292 pages)

Paleoart. Visions of the Prehistoric Past
List Price: $100.00*
Lowest New Price: $85.91*
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Description:
Paleoart. Visions of the Prehistoric Past
  • Manufacturer: TASCHEN
  • Brand: Taschen
  • ISBN: 3836555115
  • EAN: 9783836555111
  • PartNumber: Paisagem
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Edition: Presumed First Edition
  • Number of Pages: 292
  • Authors: Zoë Lescaze, Walton Ford
  • Publication Date: September 13th, 2017
  • Release Date: September 13th, 2017
Physical Description:
  • Size: 14.5 Inches by 11.0 Inches by 1.5 Inches
  • Weight: 6.93125 Pounds
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Night of the Living Dead Plesiosaurs
By Scott Mardis

Kindle Edition

Night of the Living Dead Plesiosaurs
Lowest New Price: $7.00*
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Description:
Night of the Living Dead Plesiosaurs

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Author: Scott Mardis
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North American Plesiosaurs: Volume Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.2, No.1
By Samuel Wendell Williston

Palala Press
Released: February 24th, 2018
Paperback (208 pages)

North American Plesiosaurs: Volume Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.2, No.1
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Description:
North American Plesiosaurs: Volume Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.2, No.1
  • Manufacturer: Palala Press
  • ISBN: 137860377X
  • EAN: 9781378603772
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 208
  • Authors: Samuel Wendell Williston, Oliver C. 1864-1933 Farrington
  • Publication Date: February 24th, 2018
  • Release Date: February 24th, 2018
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.21258 Inches by 6.14172 Inches by 0.4401566 Inches
  • Weight: 0.65918216338 Pounds
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Plesiosaur: Prehistoric Beasts (A Lift-The-Flap and Stand-Up Book)
By David Hawcock

Henry Holt & Co
Released: May 1st, 1994
Hardcover (1 pages)

Plesiosaur: Prehistoric Beasts (A Lift-The-Flap and Stand-Up Book)
Lowest New Price: $27.95*
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Description:
Plesiosaur: Prehistoric Beasts (A Lift-The-Flap and Stand-Up Book)
  • Manufacturer: Henry Holt & Co
  • ISBN: 0805031960
  • EAN: 9780805031966
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 1
  • Author: David Hawcock
  • Publication Date: May 1st, 1994
  • Release Date: May 1st, 1994
Physical Description:
  • Size: 5.25 Inches by 5.0 Inches by 0.5 Inches
  • Weight: 5.07 Pounds
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Elasmosaurus: The Long-Necked Swimmer (Graphic Dinosaurs (Paper))
By Gary Jeffrey

Brand: PowerKids Press
Released: July 1st, 2008
Paperback (32 pages)

Elasmosaurus: The Long-Necked Swimmer (Graphic Dinosaurs (Paper))
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Description:
Elasmosaurus: The Long-Necked Swimmer (Graphic Dinosaurs (Paper))
  • Manufacturer: PowerKids Press
  • Brand: Brand: PowerKids Press
  • ISBN: 1404277153
  • EAN: 9781404277151
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Gary Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: July 1st, 2008
  • Release Date: July 1st, 2008
Physical Description:
  • Size: 10.8 Inches by 8.8 Inches by 0.2 Inches
  • Weight: 0.4 Pounds
Features:
  • Used Book in Good Condition
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The Rise of Reptiles: 320 Million Years of Evolution
By Hans-Dieter Sues

Johns Hopkins University Press
Released: August 6th, 2019
Hardcover (400 pages)

The Rise of Reptiles: 320 Million Years of Evolution
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The Rise of Reptiles: 320 Million Years of Evolution
  • Manufacturer: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • ISBN: 1421428679
  • EAN: 9781421428673
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 400
  • Author: Hans-Dieter Sues
  • Publication Date: August 6th, 2019
  • Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.0 Inches by 8.7 Inches by 1.2 Inches
  • Weight: 3.50094072056 Pounds
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Tale of the Whale, Best Fisher EVER!
By Erin M Griggs

Independently published
Released: April 14th, 2020
Paperback (29 pages)

Tale of the Whale, Best Fisher EVER!
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Tale of the Whale, Best Fisher EVER!
  • Manufacturer: Independently published
  • ISBN: 1081206659
  • EAN: 9781081206659
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 29
  • Author: Erin M Griggs
  • Publication Date: April 14th, 2020
  • Release Date: April 14th, 2020
Physical Description:
  • Size: 11.0 Inches by 8.5 Inches by 0.07 Inches
  • Weight: 0.27 Pounds
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