Meyerasaurus

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Meyerasaurus
Temporal range: Early Jurassic, 183–180 Ma
Meyerasaurus victor SMNS 12478.jpg
The holotype in the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Family: Rhomaleosauridae
Genus: Meyerasaurus
Smith & Vincent, 2010
Species: M. victor
Binomial name
Meyerasaurus victor
(Fraas, 1910 [originally Plesiosaurus])
Synonyms

Plesiosaurus victor Fraas, 1910
Thaumatosaurus victor Fraas, 1910
Eurycleidus victor Zittel, 1932
Rhomaleosaurus victor Tarlo, 1960

Meyerasaurus is an extinct genus of rhomaleosaurid known from Holzmaden, Baden-Württemberg of southeastern Germany.[1]

Description[edit]

Restoration

Meyerasaurus is known from the holotype SMNS 12478, articulated and complete skeleton which preserved the skull, exposed in ventral view. The skull has a length of 37 cm (15 in), and the animal is about 3.35 m (11.0 ft) in length. It was collected from the Harpoceras elegantulum-falciferum ammonoid subzones, Harpoceras falcifer zone, of the famous Posidonien-Schiefer lagerstätte (Posidonia Shale), dating to the early Toarcian stage of the Early Jurassic, about 183-180 million years ago.[1]

Etymology[edit]

Meyerasaurus was first named by Adam S. Smith and Peggy Vincent in 2010 and the type species is Meyerasaurus victor. It was originally classified as a species of Plesiosaurus, later as the second named species of Thaumatosaurus (defunct name, meaning "wonder reptile") and ultimately as a species of Eurycleidus or Rhomaleosaurus. The generic name honors the German palaeontologist Hermann von Meyer for proposing the generic name Thaumatosaurus.[1]

Classification[edit]

3D animation showing the most likely swimming motions

The cladogram below shows Meyerasaurus phylogenetic position among other plesiosaurs, following Benson et al. (2012).[2]

Plesiosauria 
 Neoplesiosauria 

Pliosauridae



Plesiosauroidea



 Rhomaleosauridae 

Stratesaurus taylori




Macroplata tenuiceps




Avalonnectes arturi




Eurycleidus arcuatus




Meyerasaurus victor




Maresaurus coccai




Atychodracon megacephalus




Archaeonectrus rostratus




Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni




Rhomaleosaurus thorntoni



Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus













See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Adam S. Smith and Peggy Vincent (2010). "A new genus of pliosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Lower Jurassic of Holzmaden, Germany" (PDF). Palaeontology. 53 (5): 1049–1063. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00975.x. 
  2. ^ Roger B. J. Benson, Mark Evans and Patrick S. Druckenmiller (2012). "High Diversity, Low Disparity and Small Body Size in Plesiosaurs (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from the Triassic–Jurassic Boundary". PLoS ONE. 7 (3): e31838. PMC 3306369Freely accessible. PMID 22438869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031838.