[32] Persson noted in a 1959 review of the Swedish "E." helmerseni material that, while the species was probably closely related to Elasmosaurus proper, it was too fragmentary for this hypothesis to be assessed;[47] he later remarked in 1963 that, regarding the latter three species, "their generic and specific definition is questionable", although he declined to specifically label them as invalid on account of not having seen the fossil material. Also, the weight of the neck, the limited musculature, and the limited movement between the vertebrae would have prevented Elasmosaurus from raising its head and neck very high. (?) Unlocked Trivia Evo 1. However, none of these species are still definitely referable to the genus Elasmosaurus today, and most of them either have been moved to genera of their own or are considered dubious names, nomina dubia – that is, with no distinguishing features, and therefore of questionable validity. ”Roar!! [88], The exact function of the neck of elasmosaurids is unknown,[22] though it may have been important for hunting. [90], In 1869 Cope noted that scales and teeth of six species of fish had been discovered directly beneath the vertebrae of the Elasmosaurus holotype, and theorized that these fish would have had formed the diet of the animal. The 20 Biggest Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles. [18] In 2007 the Colombian paleontologists Leslie Noè and Marcela Gómez-Pérez expressed doubt that the additional elements belonged to the type specimen, or even to Elasmosaurus, due to lack of evidence. Or color online on our site. The bottom of each neck vertebrae had pairs of nutritive foramina (openings) at the middle, separated by a ridge, which became progressively more prominent and thickened towards the back of the neck. !” Elasmosaurids were well adapted for aquatic life, and used their flippers for swimming. Enjoy! Elasmosaurus’s neck was as long as the rest of its body. [22], Following the description of the type species, E. platyurus, a number of other Elasmosaurus species were described by Cope, Williston, and other authors. It has a long, thin, slightly arched neck, with a small head and tapered snout with small, narrowed black eyes. The usual number of trail vertebrae in elasmosaurids is 30. [92], Elasmosaurid remains provide some evidence they were preyed upon. [50], In a 1918 review of the geographic distribution and evolution of Elasmosaurus, Pravoslavlev provisionally assigned three other previously named species to Elasmosaurus;[48] his taxonomic opinions have not been widely followed. [78] In 2020, O'Gorman formally synonymized Styxosaurinae with Elasmosaurinae based on the inclusion of Elasmosaurus within the group, and also provided a list of diagnostic characteristics for the clade. [96][97] The western shore was thus highly variable, depending on variations in sea level and sediment supply. However, the West specimen was assigned to Thalassiosaurus ischiadicus (see below) by Welles in 1952;[28] Carpenter returned it to S. snowii in 1999. Edwin Colbert later assigned the type vertebra in 1949 to a pliosauroid, and also assigned other assigned remains to indeterminate elasmosauroids;[55][56] the type vertebra was recognized as potentially belonging to Aristonectes parvidens by José O'Gorman and colleagues in 2013. [85] Evidence for live-birth in plesiosaurs is provided by the fossil of an adult Polycotylus with a single fetus inside. [2][24][25], Accompanying his 1869 description of E. platyurus, Cope named another species of Elasmosaurus, E. orientalis, based on two dorsal vertebrae from New Jersey. Williston assigned another specimen discovered by Mudge and H. A. Brous in 1876. [105], Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, "Synopsis of the extinct Batrachia, Reptilia and Aves of North America, Part I", 10.1635/0097-3157(2002)152[0215:HPOVBM]2.0.CO;2, "Revised Vertebral Count in the "Longest-Necked Vertebrate", "Elasmosaurid remains from the Pierre Shale (Upper Cretaceous) of western Kansas. [61] However, part of the specimen was accidentally thrown out during the relocation of the Southern Methodist University's paleontological collections. [9][29] In an 1870 reply to Leidy, Cope himself stated that the generic placement of E. orientalis was in doubt, and that he had illustrated it with a short neck due to believing this was the condition of Cimoliasaurus. It was named from a well-preserved skeleton found in Dallas County, Texas. It has been suggested that, as a unique specimen in 1868, the original Elasmosaurus may have been hard to interpret based on the knowledge available at the time. Elasmosaurus vs. Tylosaurus. The stones match rock from 600 kilometers (370 mi) away from where the specimen was found. The ischia (a pair of bones that formed part of the pelvis) were joined at the middle, so that a medial bar was present along the length of the pelvis, a feature usually not found in plesiosaurs. The type remains were discovered by him in the same 1874 expedition with Mudge. [37] Subsequently, all Hydralmosaurus specimens were moved to Styxosaurus in 2016, rendering the former a nomen dubium. The neck alone was around 7.1 meters (23 ft) long. [34] In 1995 Nathalie Bardet and Pascal Godefroit also recognized it as an elasmosaurid, albeit indeterminate. [52] Then, in 1916, P. A. Pravoslavlev named E. amalitskii from the Don River region, based on a specimen containing vertebrae, limb girdles, and limb bones. The Plesiosaur has an almost teardrop-shaped body. Some material from Scania, Sweden, was assigned to P. helmerseni in 1885 by H. The neck could have had other vulnerabilities, for example being a target for predators. It did breathe air. [19], In 2017 Sachs and Joachim Ladwig suggested that a fragmentary elasmosaurid skeleton from the upper Campanian of Kronsmoor in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and housed in the Naturkunde-Museum Bielefeld, may have belonged to Elasmosaurus. [103] The pterosaurs Pteranodon and Nyctosaurus,[104] and the bird Ichthyornis,[103] are also known far from land. [8][9][10][3], To hide his mistake, Cope attempted to recall all copies of the preprint article, and printed a corrected version with a new skeletal reconstruction that placed the head on the neck (though it reversed the orientation of the individual vertebrae) and different wording in 1870. Given that, at the time of Persson's writing, "there [was] nothing to contradict that they are nearest akin to Elasmosaurus", he assigned them to Elasmosaurus "with hesitation". Turner died unexpectedly at Fort Wallace on July 27, 1869, without seeing the completion of the work he began, but Cope continued to write him, unaware of his death until 1870. .mw-parser-output table.clade{border-spacing:0;margin:0;font-size:100%;line-height:100%;border-collapse:separate;width:auto}.mw-parser-output table.clade table.clade{width:100%;line-height:inherit}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label{width:0.7em;padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:bottom;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;border-bottom:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width{overflow:hidden;text-overflow:ellipsis}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.first{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel{padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:top;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.last{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar{vertical-align:middle;text-align:left;padding:0 0.5em;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar.reverse{text-align:right;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf{border:0;padding:0;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leafR{border:0;padding:0;text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf.reverse{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkA{background-color:yellow}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkB{background-color:green}, Topology B: Otero (2016),[38] with clade names following O'Gorman (2020)[80], Elasmosaurids were fully adapted to life in the ocean, with streamlined bodies and long paddles that indicate they were active swimmers. In a reply to Leidy, Cope claimed that he had been misled by the fact that Leidy had arranged the vertebrae of Cimoliasaurus in the reverse order in his 1851 description of that genus, and pointed out that his reconstruction had been corrected. The teeth interlocked, and their tooth crowns were slender and rounded in cross-section. However, it is relatively poorly known. The Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals of Kansas. Well from looking at the stats it appears that Mosasaurus is better than the plesiosaur in every single way. [70] Oskar Kuhn adopted a similar classification in 1961. Although he suggested that the vertebral column of the trunk did not allow for much vertical movement due to the elongated neural spines which nearly form a continuous line with little space between adjacent vertebrae, he envisaged the neck and tail to have been much more flexible: "The snake-like head was raised high in the air, or depressed at the will of the animal, now arched swan-like preparatory to a plunge after a fish, now stretched in repose on the water or deflexed in exploring the depths below". [87], One study found that the necks of elasmosaurids were capable of 75–177˚ of ventral movement, 87–155° of dorsal movement, and 94–176° of lateral movement, depending on the amount of tissue between the vertebrae, which probably increased in rigidness towards the back of the neck. Elasmosaurus had three pectoral vertebrae, which is a common number for elasmosaurids. Here the rib facets where placed higher than the transverse processes, separating the two, and were oval to rectangular in outline. On the other hand, bending the neck sideways did increase drag force, more so in forms with very long necks. This section is taken from the Dinosaur Field Guide. [16] He again made reference to a new species of Elasmosaurus, from Kansas, in 1908. However, none of these species are still definitely referable to the genus Elasmosaurus today, and most of them either have been moved to genera of their own or are considered dubious names, nomina dubia – that is, with no distinguishing features, and therefore of questionable validity. Following the description of the type species, E. platyurus, a number of other Elasmosaurus species were described by Cope, Williston, and other authors. snowii. The neck of Elasmosaurus is estimated at 7.1 meters (23 ft) in length;[21] thus, Elasmosaurus and its relative Albertonectes were some of the longest-necked animals ever to have lived, with the largest number of neck vertebrae of any known vertebrate animals. The ANSP thanked Turner for his "very valuable gift" at their meeting in December 1868, and Turner visited the museum during spring, at a time when Cope was absent. He named the group Streptosauria, or "reversed lizards", due to the orientation of their individual vertebrae supposedly being reversed compared to what is seen in other vertebrate animals. Elasmosaurus ("plate lizard") is one of the more famous members of the Plesiosaurs, or near lizards, a major group of Mesozoic Era marine reptiles. The rib facets of the tail vertebrae were located on the lower side of the centra, and their oval shape became larger and broader from the third vertebra and onwards, but became smaller from the 14th vertebra. His diagnosis of the Elasmosauridae also noted the moderate length of the skull (i.e., a mesocephalic skull); the neck ribs having one or two heads; the scapula and coracoid contacting at the midline; the blunted rear outer angle of the coracoid; and the pair of openings (fenestrae) in the scapula–coracoid complex being separated by a narrower bar of bone compared to pliosaurids. Cope, in 1949 Welles named a new species of Elasmosaurus with those of a snake from juvenile plesiosaurs it! Their surrounding concretions after the end of the head and allowed them to see directly.! Sea snakes 24 ] [ 97 ] the western Interior Seaway crinoids and cephalopods ( including squids and ammonites.! Bottom was dominated by large Inoceramus clams, which usually had fewer ]! 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