Anningasaura

Name: Anningasaura ‭(‬Anning’s lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: An-ning-sore-rah.
Named By: P.‭ ‬Vincent‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬B.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Benson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria.
Species: A.‭ ‬lymense‭ (‬type‭).
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Unavailable.‭
Known locations: England,‭ ‬Dorset,‭ ‬Lyme Regis‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lias Group.
Time period: Hettangian/Sinemurian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Skull and partial post cranial remains‭ (‬NHMUK‭ ‬49202‭ ‬and NHMUK OR1336‭)‬.

       Anningasaura was named in honour of Mary Anning.‭ ‬Mary Anning lived in the early nineteenth century,‭ ‬and spent a lifetime collecting fossils on the shorelines of Dorset,‭ ‬many of which were sold in her families shop in Lyme Regis.‭ ‬Anning’s discoveries and contributions to science would eventually lead to worldwide recognition of her work,‭ ‬and so she became the first woman to make a name for herself in the field of palaeontology.
       As a plesiosaur genus,‭ ‬Anningasaura appears to have been fairly small in relation to other plesiosaurs,‭ ‬though for the early Jurassic this is not that unusual.‭ ‬The holotype skull‭ (‬NHMUK‭ ‬49202‭) ‬of Anningasaura was first collected at Lyme Regis in Dorset,‭ ‬the home of Mary Anning and obvious inspiration of the name.‭ ‬Fossil deposits of Lyme Regis and Dorset in general are famous for the large numbers of marine organisms found in them,‭ ‬though dinosaurs such as Duriavenator are also known.‭ ‬Since the description of the holotype,‭ ‬the partial post cranial skeleton of a juvenile‭ (‬NHMUK OR1336‭) ‬once attributed as a species of plesiosaurus have also been attributed to Anningasaura.
       Like with other plesiosaurs,‭ ‬Anningasaura would have been a piscivorous predator,‭ ‬which means that it mostly ate fish but possibly also soft bodied cephalopods similar to modern squid.‭ ‬Anningasaura in turn would have had to keep a sharp eye out for early pliosaurs which were beginning to grow big and have a preference for marine reptiles like plesiosaurs.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Anningasaura,‭ ‬a basal plesiosaurian‭ (‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria‭) ‬from the Lower Jurassic of Lyme Regis,‭ ‬United Kingdom‭ ‬-‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Vincent‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬B.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Benson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.



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