Woolungasaurus

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Woolungasaurus
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Woolungasaurus.jpg
Paddle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Plesiosauroidea
Family: Elasmosauridae
Genus: Woolungasaurus
P.O. Persson 1960
Species

W. glendowerensis

Woolungasaurus glendowerensis ('Glendower's Woolunga lizard', named after an Aboriginal mythical reptile, Persson 1960) is a plesiosaur, an extinct marine reptile, belonging to the Elasmosauridae.

The type species Woolungasaurus glendowerensis, named by Per Ove Persson in 1960,[1] is known from a partial skeleton, holotype QM F6890, (forty-six vertebrae, ribs, forearms, shoulder girdle and part of the rear limbs) unearthed from the Wallumbilla Formation (Albian, Lower Cretaceous) of the Richmond District, Queensland. The specific name refers to Glendower Station. Another find of undetermined species, consisting of twelve vertebrae, was unearthed from the Maree Formation (Cretaceous, of uncertain age) of Neale's River, near Lake Eyre, South Australia. In addition a skull from Yamborra Creek, near Maxwelltown, Queensland, described by Persson in 1982 has been referred to Woolungasaurus.

Woolungasaurus appears to have been a typical elasmosaur, with forty sharp teeth and an estimated length of about 9.5 metres. Persson (1982) believes it to be closely related to the North American elasmosaur Hydralmosaurus.

Woolungasaurus attacked by Kronosaurus

The genus was referred to Styxosaurus by Sven Sachs in 2004.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Persson, P.O., 1960, "Lower Cretaceous Plesiosaurians (Reptilia) from Australia", Lunds Universitets Arsskrift 56(12): 1-23
  2. ^ Sachs, S., 2004, "Redescription of Woolungasaurus glendowerensis (Plesiosauria: Elasmosauridae) from the Lower Cretaceous of Northeast Queensland", Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 49(2): 713-731

References[edit]

  • Long, J.A. 1998. Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand. UNSW Press.