Named By: Jean Piveteau - 1926.
Classification: Chordata, Amniota, Sauropsida, Eosuchia, Tangasauridae.
Species: H. boulei.
Size: 50 centimetres long.
Known locations: Madagascar.
Time period: Changhsingian of the Permian to Induan of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Many specimens are known.
was a diapsid reptile that developed special adaptations for an aquatic
lifestyle. The toes of the feet were long and had webbing between
them to make them work as flippers. The caudal vertebrae are extended
up and below to support a vertically flattened tail. This would have
provided a strong method of propulsion while swimming. Skin
impressions of Hovasaurus show reptilian scales as
seen in lizards.
Interestingly, Hovasaurus remains have been found to have concentrations of small stones where their stomachs would be, suggesting that these reptiles swallowed them in order to increase buoyancy.