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Holotype vertebra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Subclass: Enaliosauria
Order: Sauropterygia
Genus: Crymocetus
Cope, 1869

Crymocetus is an extinct genus of plesiosaur from the Cretaceous Chalk Group of Sussex, England. Since its description, it has been seldom examined by subsequent authors, except when mentioned in discussions of Cretaceous plesiosaurs


Crymocetus was originally described as the new species Plesiosaurus bernardi by the legendary British paleontologist Sir Richard Owen in 1850.[1] Its type specimen consisted of a large posterior cervical vertebra found in Cretaceous-aged chalk deposits in Sussex, England. However, the famous American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope decided that P. bernardi warranted its own genus, which he named Crymocetus.[2]

Despite Cope's action, nearly all authors tended to disregard Cope's generic name. Crymocetus was considered a species of Cimoliasaurus by Richard Lydekker,[3] with Plesiosaurus ichthyospondylus and tentatively Plesiosaurus balticus as synonyms. Later authors considered Crymocetus to be either a pliosaur or a rhomaleosaurid.[4][5] In any case, Crymocetus is in need of restudy along with other plesiosaurs from Middle Cretaceous deposits in the UK.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Owen, R., 1850, Description of the Fossil Reptiles of the Chalk Formation.
  2. ^ E. D. Cope. 1869. On the reptilian orders Pythonomorpha and Streptosauria. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History 12:251-266
  3. ^ Lydekker., R., 1889, Catalogue of the fossil Reptilia and Amphibia in the British Museum (Natural History). Part II. Containing the orders Ichthyopterygia and Sauropterygia: London, Printed by Order of the Trustees of the British Museum, p. 307pp.
  4. ^ Welles, S. P., 1962, A new Species of Elasmosaur from the Aptian of Colombia and a review of the Cretaceous Plesiosaurs: University of California Publications Bulletin Department of Geological Sciences, v. 44, p. 1-89.
  5. ^ Perrson, P. O., 1963, A revision of the classification of the Plesiosauria with a synopsis of the Stratigraphical and geographical distribution of the Group: Lunds Universitets Arksskrift. N. F. Avd. 2, band 59, n 1, p. 60.