Muraenosaurus

Name: Muraenosaurus ‭(‬Moray eel lizard‭).
Phonetic: Mu-ray-noe-sore-us.
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.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬6‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: England.‭ ‬France.
Time period: Callovian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Multiple individuals.

       Muraenosaurus was a Jurassic era plesiosaur similar to the much more famous Plesiosaurus,‭ ‬although Muraenosaurus actually seems to have had a 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 as Liopleurodon,‭ ‬Pliosaurus 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.

Further reading
- 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.



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