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Reptiles Guide

Pachypleurosaur

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Pachypleurosaurs
 
Fossil range: Triassic
Pachypleurosaurus edwardsi
 
Pachypleurosaurus edwardsi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
 
Phylum: Chordata
 
Class: Sauropsida
 
Superorder: Sauropterygia
 
Order: Nothosauroidea
 
Suborder: Pachypleurosauria
Nopcsa, 1928
Family: Pachypleurosauridae
Nopcsa, 1928
Genera
Anarosaurus
Dactylosaurus
Hanosaurus
Keichousaurus
Neusticosaurus
Serpianosaurus

Pachypleurosaurs were primitive Triassic sauropterygian reptiles that vaguely resembled aquatic lizards, and are limited to the Triassic period. They were elongate animals, ranging in size from 20 cm to about a meter in length, with small heads, long necks, paddle-like limbs, and long deep tails. The limb girdles are greatly reduced, so it is unlikely these animals could move about on land. The widely spaced peg-like teeth project at the front of the jaws, and indicate that these animals fed on fish.

Pachypleurosaurs were originally and are often still included among the Nothosaurs (Carroll 1988, Benton 2004). In some cladistic classifications however (Rieppel 2000), they are considered the sister group to the Eusauropterygia, the clade that includes the nothosaurs and plesiosaurs.

References

  • Benton, M. J. (2004), Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd ed. Blackwell Science Ltd classification
  • Carroll, R.L. (1988), Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, WH Freeman & Co.
  • Rieppel, O., (2000), Sauropterygia I, placodontia, pachypleurosauria, nothosauroidea, pistosauroidea: In: Handbuch der Palaoherpetologie, part 12A, 134pp. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil Table of contents

External links


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