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Temporal range: Early Jurassic - Late Jurassic, 183–150.8 Ma
Pleurosaurus BW.jpg
Life restoration of Pleurosaurus goldfussi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Rhynchocephalia
Suborder: Sphenodontia
Family: Pleurosauridae
Lydekker, 1888

Pleurosauridae is a family of extinct marine diapsid reptiles belonging to the group Sphenodontia. Fossils from this family have been discovered in Bavaria, Germany from the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) and Tithonian (Late Jurassic).[1] Pleurosaurs became gradually adapted to an aquatic lifestyle, with the semi-aquatic Palaeopleurosaurus being less specialised than the fully marine Pleurosaurus. At least the former appears to have had a much more reduced lifespan compared to the modern tuatara.[2]


  1. ^ Dupret, V. (2004). The pleurosaurs: anatomy and phylogeny. Revue de Paléobiologie, 9: 61-80.[1]
  2. ^ Klein, N.; Scheyer, T.M. (2017). "Microanatomy and life history in Palaeopleurosaurus (Rhynchocephalia: Pleurosauridae) from the Early Jurassic of Germany". The Science of Nature. 104 (4). doi:10.1007/s00114-016-1427-3.