Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
An illustration of Plesiopleurodon.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Plesiosauroidea
Family: Polycotylidae
Genus: Plesiopleurodon
Carpenter, 1996
  • P. wellesi Carpenter, 1996 (type)

Plesiopleurodon, name meaning "near sided tooth", is an extinct genus of pliosaur which existed during the late Cretaceous period in North America. It was named by Carpenter based upon a complete skull and lower jaws, neck vertebrae, and a right coracoid.

This species is characterized by a long symphasis containing eight pairs of teeth, which were circular in cross section and smooth on the outside apart from near the base. It also had ribs of the neck vertebrae which were single-headed, unlike the earlier Jurassic pliosaurs' which were double-headed, and a long slender interpectoral bar on the coracoid.

In Popular Culture

Plesiopleurodon makes a brief appearance in the fourth episode of Walking with Dinosaurs, where it is seen watching an Ornithocheirus flying overhead before returning to the depths. Its appearance only lasts 10 seconds and its model is a recolored version of Liopleurodon's.