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Temporal range: Early Jurassic
Fossil M. homalospondylus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Plesiosauroidea
Genus: Microcleidus
  • M. homalospondylus
  • M. macropterus
  • M. tournemirensis Sciau et al., 1990

Occitanosaurus tournemirensis Plesiosaurus tournemirensis

Microcleidus is an extinct genus of sauropterygian reptile belonging to the plesiosauroidea suborder. It was about the size of a medium sized dolphin, reaching a length of 3 metres (9.8 ft).[citation needed] The species has 40 neck vertebrae and a short tail of 28 vertebrae.


Fossil M. homalospondylus
Fossils of Microcleidus tournemirensis

Species include: Microcleidus homalospondylus (Owen 1865) and Microcleidus macropterus (Seeley 1865).

Occitanosaurus tournemirensis (originally "Plesiosaurus" tournemirensis), was named by Sciau et al. in 1990, based on a nearly complete skeleton of an animal approximately 4 meters (13 ft) long.[1] It was later found to be a species of Microcleidus.

The following cladogram follows an analysis by Ketchum & Benson, 2011.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ketchum HF, Benson RBJ. Global interrelationships of Plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) and the pivotal role of taxon sampling in determining the outcome of phylogenetic analyses. Biological Reviews
  2. ^ Hilary F. Ketchum and Roger B. J. Benson (2011). "A new pliosaurid (Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria) from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of England: evidence for a gracile, longirostrine grade of Early-Middle Jurassic pliosaurids". Special Papers in Palaeontology. 86: 109–129. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01083.x.