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Old 13-08-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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Plesiosaur Icon Were there any swimming dinosaurs?

Were there any swimming dinosaurs?


No dinosaurs were adapted to an entirely aquatic life, although some may have gone into the water to get prey. Baryonyx, for example, was found with fossilized fish scales in its stomach.
There were many aquatic reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs, including plesiosaurs, nothosaurs, and mosasaurs.



PLESIOSAURS
(pronounced plee-zee-oh-SAWRS) Plesiosaurs (meaning "near lizard") were flippered marine reptiles from the Mesozoic Era - they were not dinosaurs. Plesiosaurs are divided into two groups: the Plesiosauroids with long, snake-like necks, tiny heads, and wide bodies, and the Pliosauroids, which had large heads with very strong jaws and short necks. Some plesiosaurs included Plesiosaurus, Kronosaurus, Elasmosaurus, etc.



NOTHOSAURS
Nothosaurs were fish-eating reptiles with four flipper-like limbs. They lived both on land and in the water during the Triassic period. These streamlined swimmers were not dinosaurs. Nothosaurs had webbed feet, and elongated bodies and necks. Nothosaurs (Order Nothosauria) includes the family Nothosauridae (Nothosaurus, Lariosaurus, and Ceresiosaurus) and the family Pistosauridae (Pistosaurus - more like a pleasiosaur).



MOSASAURS
(pronounced MOES-ah-SAWR) Mosasaurs (meaning "Meuse lizard" named for the Meuse river in Holland where they were first found) were giant, carnivorous marine reptiles (but not dinosaurs) that lived during the late Cretaceous period. They were powerful swimmers that had four paddle-like limbs on a long, streamlined body. The large head had large jaws with many teeth. They hunted fish, turtles, mollusks, and shellfish. Some Mosasaurs include the Mosasaurus (33 feet=10 m long with sharp teeth from the North Atlantic), Platecarpus, Tylosaurus (26 feet=8 m long with sharp teeth from the North and South Atlantic), Plotosaurus, Clidastes, Plioplatecarpus, and Globidens (with flat teeth for crushing shellfish). The first Mosasaur, Mosasaurus hoffmani, was found in the Netherlands in 1780.
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