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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 98 Ma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Plesiosauroidea
Family: Polycotylidae[1]
Genus: Plesiopleurodon
Carpenter, 1996 [2]

Plesiopleurodon is an extinct genus of plesiosauroid from the Late Cretaceous of North America. It was named by Carpenter based upon a complete skull and lower jaws, neck vertebrae, and a right coracoid.[2] It was collected from the Belle Fourche Shale (lower Cenomanian), in the Rattlesnake Hills of Wyoming. In naming the specimen, Carpenter (1996, p. 264) noted "Of all known pliosaurs, Plesiopleurodon wellesi most closely resembles Liopleurodon ferox from the Oxfordian of Europe, hence the generic reference."

The species is characterized by a moderately long symphysis bearing 8 pairs of teeth, teeth that are nearly circular in cross-section and which are smooth on the outer surface (except near the base), ribs of the neck vertebrae being singled-headed (double-headed in Jurassic pliosaurs), and a long slender interpectoral bar on the coracoid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ketchum, H.F.; Benson, R.B.J. (2010). "Global interrelationships of Plesiosauria (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) and the pivotal role of taxon sampling in determining the outcome of phylogenetic analyses.". Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 85 (2): 361–392. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2009.00107.x. PMID 20002391. 
  2. ^ a b c Carpenter K. 1996. A review of short-necked plesiosaurs from the Cretaceous of the Western Interior, North America. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 210 (2): 259-287.