“Thin plate lizard”
Late Cretaceous, 80.5 million years ago

Elasmosaurus was a plesiosaur that could grow up to 46 feet in length – half of that length being neck! When first discovered in 1868, the prominent paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope mistook its attenuated neck for a tail, placing its head on its rear end. Cope’s professional rival, Othniel Charles Marsh, ridiculed him for this error, marking the scientific community’s first usage of “butthead” in peer review.


A study of Saurian morphology: Sauropterygia (part 3)

Moving on to the group Plesiosauridea, which had relatively longer neck than last post’s PliosaurideaPlesiosaurus, the most well known genus of the group, had a long neck, small head, and elongated paddle adapted for aquatic life.

Elasmosauridae is a family of plesiosaurs with the longest neck relative to their body size, represented here by Albertonectes, the longest known plesiosaur which could reach 11.2m in total length (with 7m neck).

Kaiwhekea is a member of the poorly understood Aristonectidae family but it’s head was weird, that’s all the internet has to say. We need more plesiosaur awesomeness on the internet.

Also, apparently Teepublic is having a sale today (or tomorrow? time zones confuse me) so keep an eye for dinosaur my t-shirts. I’ll be uploading a few more in a minute.

- - -

T-shirts · Other Products · Patreon · Website