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Temporal range: Late Triassic-Late Cretaceous, 210–66 Ma
Elasomosaurus Face Clean.png
Reconstructed skeleton of Elasmosaurus platyurus in the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Clade: Xenopsaria
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.


Restoration of Thalassomedon haningtoni.

The earliest elasmosaurids were mid-sized, about 6 m (20 ft). In the Late Cretaceous, elasmosaurids grew as large as 11.5–12 m (38–39 ft), such as Styxosaurus, Albertonectes, and Thalassomedon. 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. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2017.1278608?journalCode=ujvp20
  4. ^ 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. 
  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. 
  6. ^ 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. 

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