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Temporal range: Early Jurassic, Pliensbachian
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Family: Microcleididae
Genus: Westphaliasaurus
Schwermann & Sander, 2011
  • W. simonsensii Schwermann & Sander, 2011 (type)

Westphaliasaurus is an extinct genus of plesiosaurid from Lower Jurassic (Pliensbachian stage) deposits of Westphalia, northwestern Germany. It is known from a nearly complete and articulated skeleton missing the skull and about 38% of the upper neck vertebrae. It was found by Sönke Simonsen, an amateur paleontologist, in 2007 from the Höxter district near Bielefeld, in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was first named by Leonie Schwermann and Martin Sander in 2011 and the type species is Westphaliasaurus simonsensii. The generic name is derived from the latinized name for Westfalen, Westphalia and lizard, saurus. The specific name honors Sönke Simonsen. Estimates suggest that it was 4.5 metres (15 ft) in length.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leonie Schwermann and Martin Sander (2011). "Osteologie und Phylogenie von Westphaliasaurus simonsensii: Ein neuer Plesiosauride (Sauropterygia) aus dem Unteren Jura (Pliensbachium) von Sommersell (Kreis Höxter), Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland [=Osteology and Phylogeny of Westphaliasaurus simonsensii, a new plesiosaurid (Sauropterygia) from the Lower Jurassic (Pliensbachian) of Sommersell (Höxter district), North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany]". Geologie und Paläontologie in Westfalen. 79 (1): 56 pp. ISBN 978-3-940726-14-8.