Alexeyisaurus

Name: Alexeyisaurus ‭(‬Aleksei’s lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ah-lex-e-e-sore-us.
Named By: A.‭ ‬G.‭ ‬Sennikov‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Arkhangelsky‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.‭
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Elasmosauridae.
Species: A.‭ ‬karnoushenkoi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Uncertain.
Known locations: Russia,‭ ‬Franz Josef Land‭ ‬-‭ ‬Wilczek Formation.
Time period: Norian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skeleton.

       Although Alexeyisaurus was described from partial remains,‭ ‬it seems that further material was actually present at the site of its discovery.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬the material recovered is enough to suggest that Alexeyisaurus is one of the earliest known elasmosaurid plesiosaurs,‭ ‬the group of plesiosaurs that had proportionately much longer necks than the more‭ ‘‬standard‭’ ‬plesiosaurs.‭ ‬Like others of this group Alexeyisaurus would have been a piscivorous hunter of fish and possibly squid which would have been caught by the mouth which contained long thin teeth,‭ ‬perfectly suited to catching this type of prey.‭ ‬Additionally the presence of a basal elasmosaurid like Alexeyisaurus during the late Triassic not only helps prove that they‭ ‬lived‭ ‬alongside other earlier plesiosaurs,‭ ‬but‭ ‬that they survived the extinction event that marks the end of the Triassic.‭ ‬This was a particularly bad one for oceanic life,‭ ‬and would not be seen on similar level until the end of Cretaceous extinction that saw an end to all of the large marine reptiles,‭ ‬as well as the pterosaurs and dinosaurs.
       Alexeyisaurus was named in memory of the palaeontologist Aleksei Savvich Arkhangelsky.



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