(Moray eel lizard).
Named By: Harry Govier Seeley.
Synonyms: Cimoliasaurus durobrivensis, Cimoliosaurus durobrivensis, Cimoliosaurus plicatus, Cryptocleidus cuervoi, Muraenosaurus durobrivensis, Muraenosaurus platyclis, Muraenosaurus plicatus, Picrocleidus beloclis, Tremamesacleis durobrivensis, Tremamesacleis platycleis.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria.
Species: M. leedsii (type), M. beloclis.
Size: Around 6 meters long.
Known locations: England. France.
Time period: Callovian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Multiple individuals.
was a Jurassic era plesiosaur
similar to the much more famous
although Muraenosaurus actually seems to have had
proportionately longer neck. This is likely an adaptation that would
have helped it to catch fish. It’s probable however that
Muraenosaurus itself was targeted by large Jurassic
era pliosaurs such
and possibly Simolestes.
The name Muraenosaurus is based upon the Muraenidae, a group of eels that are better known by the more common name of moray eels. There long bodies do resemble the necks of plesiosaurs, though obviously they are still very different animals to what the plesiosaurs were. As a genus Muraenosaurus should not be confused with Morenosaurus, another plesiosaur but from the late Cretaceous era.
- On Muraenosaurus leedsii, a plesiosaurian from the Oxford Clay, Part I. - Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 30:197-208. - H. G. Seeley - 1874.