Pachypleurosaurus

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Pachypleurosaurus
Temporal range: Triassic
Pachypleurosaurus.jpg
Pachypleurosaurus edwardsi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Nothosauroidea
Suborder: Pachypleurosauria
Genus: Pachypleurosaurus
Species

Pachypleurosaurus (meaning 'thick rib lizard') is a genus of pachypleurosaurian that lived during the Triassic Period. It was a basal sauropterygian, and had a long neck. The type species is P. edwardsi.

This aquatic animal was a nothosaur, an early relative of the plesiosaurs and placodonts. In contrast to the highly modified paddles of plesiosaurs, pachypleurosaurs had hands and feet that were still very similar to those of land-dwelling tetrapods. It is likely that undulations of its backbone provided the main propulsive force for swimming. Like other nothosaurs, Pachypleurosaurus was a marine animal that probably lived on fish or small invertebrates.