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Temporal range: Triassic
Tanystropheus longobardicus 1.JPG
Fossil of Tanystropheus longobardicus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Protorosauria
Family: Tanystropheidae
Gervais, 1858

Tanystropheidae is an extinct family of mostly marine protorosaur reptiles that lived the Triassic Period. They are characterized by their long, stiff necks formed from elongated cervical vertebrae with very long cervical ribs. Some tanystropheids such as Tanystropheus had necks that were several meters long, longer than the rest of their bodies. Tanystropheids are known from Europe, China, and eastern North America. The presence of tanystropheids in Europe and China indicate that they lived along much of the coastline of the Tethys Ocean.[2]


  1. ^ Fossilworks
  2. ^ Rieppel, O.; Jiang, D. Y.; Fraser, N. C.; Hao, W. C.; Motani, R.; Sun, Y. L.; Sun, Z. Y. (2010). "Tanystropheus cf. T. Longobardicus from the early Late Triassic of Guizhou Province, southwestern China". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (4): 1082. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.483548.  edit