Mauisaurus

Name: Mauisaurus ‭(‬Maui lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Mow-e-sore-us.
Named By: Hector‭ ‬-‭ ‬1874.‭
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Elasmosauridae.
Species: M.‭ ‬haasti.
Diet: Piscivore/Carnivore.
Size: Estimates have ranged from 13-20 meters long.
Known locations: New Zealand.
Time period: Campanian to early Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Many specimens are known.

       Discovered in New Zealand,‭ ‬Mauisaurus was for a long time credited as one of the largest plesiosaurs.‭ ‬However in more recent times there have been doubts about the validity of fossils attributed to the genus since these have come from so many different locations.‭ ‬This has also led to speculation that Mauisaurus may have actually been much smaller at about thirteen meters long,‭ ‬as opposed to earlier estimates that placed it at twenty meters long..‭ ‬Mauisaurus also displays the long sharp teeth often seen in elasmosaurid plesiosaurs that would have been ideally suited for snaring slippery fast moving prey.
       Mauisaurus‭ ‬was the first plesiosaur known from‭ ‬New Zealand,‭ ‬but a second called Tuarangisaurus has since been discovered.

Further reading
- On the fossil Reptilia of New Zealand. - Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 6:333-358. - J. Hector - 1874.
- The nature of Mauisaurus haasti Hector, 1874 (Reptilia: Plesiosauria). - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25 (3):588-601. - N. Hiller, A. A. Mannering, C. M. Jones, A. R. I. Cruickshank - 2005.




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