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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, Aptian
Umoonasaurus BW.jpg
Umoonasaurus demoscyllus from the Early Cretaceous of Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Plesiosauroidea[1]
Family: Leptocleididae
Genus: Umoonasaurus
Species: U. demoscyllus
Binomial name
Umoonasaurus demoscyllus
Kear, Schroeder & Lee, 2006 [2]

Umoonasaurus is an extinct genus of plesiosaur[1] belonging to the family Leptocleididae.[3] This genus lived approximately 115 million years ago (Aptian-Albian) in shallow seas covering parts of what is now Australia. It was a relatively small animal around 2.5 m (8 ft) long. An identifying trait of Umoonasaurus is three crest-ridges on its skull.[2]

Umoonasaurus is known from a relatively complete skeleton preserved as opal from Coober Pedy in South Australia. This specimen was prepared by Paul Willis at the Australian Museum, Sydney, and became the focus of a nationwide fundraising appeal coordinated by ABC TV's Quantum program.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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. 85: 361–392. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2009.00107.x. PMID 20002391.
  2. ^ a b Kear BP, Schroeder NI, Lee MSY. 2006. An archaic crested plesiosaur in opal from the Lower Cretaceous high-latitude deposits of Australia Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine.. Biology Letters 2: 615–619.
  3. ^ Smith AS, Dyke GJ. 2008. The skull of the giant predatory pliosaur Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni: implications for plesiosaur phylogenetics. Naturwissenschaften e-published 2008.

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