Name: Lariosaurus ‭(‬Lario lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: La-ree-oh-sore-us.
Named By: Curioni‭ ‬-‭ ‬1847.
Synonyms: Deirosaurus italicus, Eupodosaurus longobardicus, Lariosaurus carinthiacus, Macromirosaurus plini, Macromirosaurus plinii, Proneusticosaurus carinthiacus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropsida,‭ ‬Nothosauria,‭ ‬Nothosauridae.
Species: L.‭ ‬balsamii‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬curioni,‭ L.hongguoensis, ‬L. juvenilis, L. stensioi, L.‭ ‬valceresii,‭ L. vosseveldensis, ‬L.‭ ‬xingyiensis, L.youngi.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: 60‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Europe,‭ ‬China.
Time period: Anisian to Ladinian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Several known specimens.

       Although small by nothosaur standards,‭ ‬Lariosauru remains one of the most important nothosaurs known to palaeontology as remains are so well preserved they contain the presence of juvenile Lariosaurus,‭ ‬as well as what they ate.‭ ‬The juvenile specimens inside an adult Lariosaurus are very well preserved suggesting that they were not chewed or eaten,‭ ‬and that Lariosaurus were possibly not cannibalistic.‭ ‬As such if the popular theory of them being young waiting to be born is correct,‭ ‬then it proves that the marine reptiles had developed the ability to give birth to live young before they were completely restricted to aquatic life.‭ ‬This has long been suspected for later and larger marine reptiles like ichthyosaurs,‭ ‬plesiosaurs,‭ ‬and mosasaurs as terrestrial movement would have been impossible for these reptiles.
       While nothosaurs in general are thought to have eaten fish,‭ ‬Lariosaurus is confirmed to have eaten other marine reptiles,‭ ‬specifically placodonts as indicated by the remains of two Cyamodus juveniles inside one Lariosaurus skeleton.
       Lariosaurus also seems to be a marine reptile in transition to a more aquatic life.‭ ‬This is because while the rear legs were still suited to land movement,‭ ‬the front legs had evolved to form‭ ‬paddles.‭ ‬This would be a hindrance to movement on land,‭ ‬but a considerable bonus when swimming in the water.

Further reading
- "Eupodosaurus longobardicus". Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 6 8:407 - G. A. Boulenger - 1891.
- The status of the sauropterygian reptile genera Ceresiosaurus, Lariosaurus, and Silvestrosaurus from the Middle Triassic of Europe. - Fieldiana: Geology, new series 38:1-46. - O, Rieppel - 1998.
- A new species of Lariosaurus (Sauropterygia: Nothosauridae) from Triassic of Guizhou, southwest China. - Vertebrata PalAsiatica 40(2):122-126. - J.-L. Li, J. Liu & O. Rieppel - 2002.
- A new species of Lariosaurus (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from the Middle Anisian (Middle Triassic) of southwestern China. - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen 242(1):19-42. D.-Y. Jiang, M. W. Maisch, Z.-Y. Sun, Y.-L. Sun & W.-C. Hao - 2006.
- The earliest record of the genus Lariosaurus from the early middle Anisian (Middle Triassic) of the Germanic Basin. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 36(4):e1163712 - N. Klein, D. F. A. Voeten, A. Haarhuis & R. Bleeker - 2016.


Random favourites