Meyerasaurus

Name: Meyerasaurus ‭(‬Meyer’s lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: My-er-sore-us.
Named By: Adam S.‭ ‬Smith and Peggy Vincent‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.
Synonyms: Eurycleidus victor,‭ ‬Plesiosaurus victor,‭ ‬Rhomaleosaurus victor,‭ ‬Thaumatosaurus victor.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Pliosauroidea,‭ ‬Rhomaleosauridae.
Species: M.‭ ‬victor‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: 3.35‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬skull‭ ‬37‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Germany.
Time period: Toarcian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Complete and articulated skeleton with skull that is in ventral view‭ (‬the underside‭)‬.

       Initially described as a species of Plesiosaurus back in‭ ‬1910,‭ ‬Meyerasaurus has spent a lot of time being shunted around from one genus to another before it was given its own place.‭ ‬First the remains were moved from Plesiosaurus to Thaumatosaurus.‭ ‬Then a long necked pliosaur called Rhomaleosaurus was suggested to be‭ ‬a‭ ‬synonym to Thaumatosaurus,‭ ‬but the problem here is that Thaumatosaurus was described upon only partial remains.‭ ‬As such Thaumatosaurus eventually became regarded as a numen dubium‭ (‬dubious name‭) ‬because the holotype‭ (‬original and identifying‭) ‬remains could not really be used to identify any further discoveries.‭ ‬This resulted in material that was referred to Thaumatosaurus being placed within the Rhomaleosaurus genus as new species,‭ ‬while Thaumatosaurus has since become a disused taxon.‭ ‬A later review of all material assigned to Rhomaleosaurus resulted in some of the later referred material being moved over to Eurycleidus as well as creating Meyerasaurus.‭ ‬The origin of this name is in honour of Christian von Meyer who originally created the name Thaumatosaurus.
       Meyerasaurus was a long necked pliosaur,‭ ‬a marine reptile that seems to be intermediate in form from the long necked plesiosaurs of the early Jurassic and the short necked pliosaurs that radiated out from them.‭ ‬Meyerasaurus itself would have been a hunter of fish and possibly cephalopods‭ (‬squid,‭ ‬etc.‭) ‬and would have used the sharp teeth in its jaws to snare prey,‭ ‬while probably swallowing it whole,‭ ‬due to the fact that the teeth were not suited for tearing flesh.‭ ‬Meyerasaurus itself would have been at risk from early shorter necked pliosaurs that were evolving to hunt and kill other marine reptiles.



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