Named By: T. Konishi & M. W. Caldwell - 2011.
Synonyms: Clidastes planifrons, Platecarpus planifrons.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Squamata, Mosasauridae, Plioplatecarpinae, Plioplatecarpini.
Species: P. planifrons (type).
Size: Roughly estimated to be about 4.8-5 meters long.
Known locations: USA.
Time period: Coniacian/Santonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Several individuals, some almost complete.
was initially named as a species of the genus Clidastes
Drinker Cope back in 1874 during a period dubbed the ‘bone
wars’. Later this species was assigned to the genus Platecarpus,
before finally being named as an independent genus in 2011.
Although different to Platecarpus, Plesioplatecarpus
recognised as being very similar, hence the name which actually
means ‘near Platecarpus’.
Plesioplatecarpus seems to have been towards the smaller end of the scale for mosasaurs, and was more likely to be an active fast swimming predator of fish as opposed to an apex predator of other marine reptiles.
- Two new plioplatecarpine (Squamata, Mosasauridae) genera from the Upper Cretaceous of North America, and a global phylogenetic analysis of plioplatecarpines. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(4):754-783. - T. Konishi & M. W. Caldwell - 2011.