Thalassiodracon

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Thalassiodracon
Temporal range: Late Triassic-Early Jurassic
Plesiosaurus hawkinsi NHM.jpg
Thalassiodracon hawkinsi found in the Lower Lias strata, Street, Somerset, England.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Pliosauroidea
Genus: Thalassiodracon
Storrs & Taylor 1996
Binomial name
Thalassiodracon hawkinsi
(Owen, 1838)

Thalassiodracon (tha-LAS-ee-o-DRAY-kon, meaning "sea dragon") is an extinct genus of small pliosaur that lived in the Late Triassic (Rhaetian) to the Early Jurassic (Hettangian) of Europe. The animal is known from a number of complete skeletons (Holotype: BMNH 2018) found by the fossil collector Thomas Hawkins in Somerset, England. The type and only species, Thalassiodracon hawkinsi named to honour its discoverer, was originally placed in the genus Plesiosaurus.

Description[edit]

life restoration of Thalassiodracon hawkinsi

This marine reptile measured 1.5–2 m. (5-6.5 ft) had a long neck but the skull was proportionally larger than Plesiosaurus, being 1/10 of the total body length.

Classification[edit]

Thalassiodracon hawkinsi skeleton, Natural History Museum in London
Fragmentary specimen

The following cladogram follows an analysis by Ketchum & Benson, 2011.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hilary F. Ketchum and Roger B. J. Benson (2011). "A new pliosaurid (Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria) from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of England: evidence for a gracile, longirostrine grade of Early-Middle Jurassic pliosaurids". Special Papers in Palaeontology 86: 109–129. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01083.x. 

See also[edit]