Named By: Zulma Gasparini - 2009.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Pliosauridae.
Species: G. iturraldei (type).
Known locations: Cuba, Pinar del Río - Jagua Formation.
Time period: Oxfordian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and mandible (lower jaw) and some cervical (neck) vertebrae. Holotype remains are possibly those of a juvenile.
genus name of Gallardosaurus is in honour of Juan
farmer who first discovered the remains in 1946. Despite the
remains being discovered at this time, they were left unprepared for
proper study, even in 1996 when Gallardosaurus
was thought to
possibly represent another specimen of Pliosaurus.
When the remains
were eventually prepared, Zulma Gasparini and Iturralde-Vinent
considered them to be those of another pliosaur called Peloneustes
2006. In 2009 however, Gasparini re-exmamined the specimen and
concluded that it was actually different enough to be its own genus.
Gallardosaurus is one of a slowly growing number of distinctly Cuban marine reptiles that would have swum in the Mesozoic seas, however as a marine animal, Gallardosaurus likely had a broader distribution than just the waters of what would become Cuba. Gallardosaurus would have shared its marine habitat with the cryptoclidid plesiosaur Vinialesaurus.