Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|An artist's illustration of Elasmosaurus platyurus|
| Elasmosaurus platyurus|
Elasmosaurus is the largest of all plesiosaurs, with a neck that consisted of 70 vertebrae that counted for over half of the massive animal's total body length: fourteen meters. Elasmosaurus is the type species for the family of Elasmosauridae and was closely related to other elasmosaurid plesiosaurs such as Hydrotherosaurus and Thalassomedon. By contrast, its' head was proportionally small, rather bulldog-like, armed with some very sharp teeth that in the front of the snout were overlapping and longer than in the hind part of the jaws.
Like the rest of the plesiosaurs, Elasmosaurus had flipped for limbs. They were paddle-like, unlike those of the ichthyosaurs. Elasmosaurus was a carnivore: like its' relatives it hunted prehistoric fish and cephalopods, but also may have captured various pterosaurs. Meanwhile, other marine reptiles of the Cretaceous, such as Tylosaurus, probably preyed on Elasmosaurus itself.
History of study
Formerly assigned species
In popular culture
- Elasmosaurus appeared in Chased by Sea Monsters.
- Elasmosaurus appeared on Dinosaur Train.
- Elasmosaurus appeared on Dino-Riders the episode “Blue Skies of Earth“.