Lusonectes

Name: Lusonectes ‭(‬Portugese swimmer‭)‬.
Phonetic: Lu-so-nek-teez.
Named By: Adam S.‭ ‬Smith,‭ ‬Ricardo Araújo‭ & ‬Octávio Mateus‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Plesiosauridae.
Species: L.‭ ‬sauvagei‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of fossil material.
Known locations: Portugal‭ ‬-‭ ‬São Gião Formation.
Time period: Toarcian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull with articulated mandible‭ (‬lower jaw‭)‬.

       Lusonectes was named from a combination of Luso‭ (‬Portugese‭)‬,‭ ‬and nectes‭ (‬swimmer‭)‬,‭ ‬and at the time of its naming it was the only plesiosaur genus named from a Portugese deposit.‭ ‬However Europe during the Jurassic was more a collection of islands rather than the single large land mass it is today,‭ ‬so it may only be a matter of time before other Portugese plesiosaurs are discovered.‭ ‬The species name L.‭ ‬sauvagei is in honour of the French palaeontologist Henri Émile Sauvage who found the first remains way back in the nineteenth century.
       Lusonectes is thought to be most closely related to plesiosaurs like Microcleidus,‭ ‬and as such may represent a primitive form of elasmosaurid plesiosaur.‭ ‬These are the sub group proportionately longer necked plesiosaurs typified by Elasmosaurus.



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