Named By: Hector - 1874.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Elasmosauridae.
Species: M. haasti.
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.
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
displays the long sharp teeth often seen in elasmosaurid plesiosaurs
that would have been ideally suited for snaring slippery fast moving
Mauisaurus was the first plesiosaur known from New Zealand, but a second called Tuarangisaurus has since been discovered.
- 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.