Marine Reptile Click to enlarge image
Pliosaur model from Cretaceous nick name Eric Image: Stuart Humphreys
Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Feeding Habits
    carnivorous

Introduction

Pliosaurs were aquatic carnivorous reptiles, not dinosaurs, that lived between 220 and 70 million years ago. This pliosaur has not yet been named scientifically but may be a specimen of Yuzhoupliosaurus chengjiangensis.

Identification

Pliosaurs had:

  • large, sharp, serrated teeth for catching prey;
  • lungs for breathing air;
  • modified paddle-like limbs (like those of a penguin) which they used to swim through the water.

Fossils description

Yuzhoupliosaurus chengjiangensis was named after the place where it was discovered - Chongqing - which was known as Yuzhou in ancient times.

Evolutionary relationships

Pliosaurs are short-necked plesiosaurs. They are more closely related to lizards and snakes than to dinosaurs and birds.