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Temporal range: Late Triassic - Late Cretaceous, 210–66 Ma
Artist's restoration of Elasmosaurus platyurus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Superfamily: Plesiosauroidea
Family: Elasmosauridae
Cope, 1869

See text


Cimoliasauridae Persson, 1960

Elasmosauridae was a family of plesiosaurs. They had the longest necks of the plesiosaurs and survived from the Late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous. Their diet mainly consisted of crustaceans and molluscs.


Elasmosaurus platyurus in the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado

The earliest elasmosaurids were small, about 3 m (9.8 ft). At the end of the Cretaceous, elasmosaurids grew as large as 14 m (46 ft), such as Elasmosaurus. Their necks were the longest of all the plesiosaurs, with anywhere between 32 to 76 (Albertonectes) cervical vertebrae They weighed up to several tons.


The family Elasmosauridae was erected by Cope in 1869, and anchored on the genus Elasmosaurus.


  1. ^ Araújo, R., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Mateus O., Jacobs L. L., Gonçalves O. A., & Morais M. - L. (2015). A new elasmosaurid from the early Maastrichtian of Angola and the implications of girdle morphology on swimming style in plesiosaurs. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. FirstView, 1–12., 1
  2. ^ Patrick S. Druckenmiller and Anthony P. Russell (2006). "A new elasmosaurid plesiosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Lower Cretaceous Clearwater Formation, northeastern Alberta, Canada" (PDF). Paludicola (Special Issue, in memory of Elizabeth "Betsy" Nicholls) 5 (4): 184–199. 
  3. ^ Peggy Vincent, Nathalie Bardet, Xabier Pereda Suberbiola, Baâdi Bouya, Mbarek Amaghzaz and Saïd Meslouh (2011). "Zarafasaura oceanis, a new elasmosaurid (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Maastrichtian Phosphates of Morocco and the palaeobiogeography of latest Cretaceous plesiosaurs". Gondwana Research 19 (4): 1062–1073. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2010.10.005. 
  4. ^ F. Robin O'Keefe and Hallie P. Street (2009). "Osteology Of The Cryptoclidoid Plesiosaur Tatenectes laramiensis, With Comments On The Taxonomic Status Of The Cimoliasauridae" (PDF). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29 (1): 48–57. doi:10.1671/039.029.0118. 
  5. ^ Benjamin P. Kear (2005). "A new elasmosaurid plesiosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25 (4): 792–805. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2005)025[0792:ANEPFT]2.0.CO;2. 

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