Named By: Georg Gurich - 1884.
Synonyms: Dactylosaurus schroederi.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Nothosauroidea, Pachypleurosauria, Pachypleurosauridae.
Species: D. gracilis (type).
Size: Around 20 centimetres long.
Known locations: Europe.
Time period: Anisian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains of the anterior (forward portion) skeleton.
Dactylosaurus was one of the smallest known pachypleurosaurs, a group of marine reptiles with close associations to the nothosaurs, though opinions differ on if they should belong within the Nothosauroidea or be separate to them. Dactylosaurus may have been fed upon by other marine reptiles and large fish such as primitive sharks like Hybodus, but it would have been a predator of smaller fish itself.