Plesiosuchus

Name: Plesiosuchus ‭(N‬ear crocodile‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ples-e-oh-soo-kus.
Named By: Richard Owen‭ ‬-‭ ‬1884.
Synonyms: Steneosaurus manselii.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Crocodylomorpha,‭ ‬Thalattosuchia,‭ ‬Metriorhynchidae,‭ ‬Geosaurini.
Species: P.‭ ‬manselii‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Holotype estimated to be about‭ ‬5.42‭ ‬meters long.‭ ‬A second larger individual has been estimated to be about‭ ‬6.83‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: England‭ ‬-‭ ‬Kimmeridge Clay Formation.‭ ‬Possibly also Spain‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tereñes Formation.
Time period: Kimmeridgian to Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and postcranial remains of at least two individuals.

       Originally thought to be a skull of a pliosaur,‭ ‬the Plesiosuchus holotype remains were originally credited as a species of Steneosaurus by John Hulke in‭ ‬1870‭ ‬.‭ ‬Steneosaurus is a genus of teleosaurid crocodile,‭ ‬a type believed to be common in coastal locations such as estuaries where they fed upon fish.‭ ‬Later study though identified the remains as actually belonging to a metriorhynchid crocodile,‭ ‬a different type of crocodile that has greater adaptations towards living most of its life in the sea.‭ ‬As such in‭ ‬1884,‭ ‬Richard Owen established the genus Plesiosuchus from the remains.‭ ‬In the past some studies have considered Plesiosuchus to represent a species of Dakosaurus‭; ‬however the most recent studies at the time of writing have concluded that Plesiosuchus is indeed a distinct genus.
       Plesiosuchus has been identified as a geosaurine metiorhynchid,‭ ‬meaning that it is closer‭ ‬to genera such as Geosaurus.‭ ‬Geosaurines are noted as having fairly long jaws and proportionately smaller teeth than other genera such as Dakosaurus.‭ ‬With that said the teeth of Plesiosuchus are still large and could have been put to work on anything from large fish to even other marine reptiles.‭ ‬Plesiosuchus is also one of the largest metriorhynchids,‭ ‬and with the largest known individual measuring just under seven meters in length,‭ ‬Plesiosuchus is comparable to the larger pliosaurs of the time and location such as smaller species of Pliosaurus and Liopleurodon‭ (*‬special note‭ ‬-‭ ‬Liopleurodon never reached lengths of twenty-five meters,‭ ‬more information on this is on the Liopleurodon page‭)‬.

Further reading
-‭ ‬The Cranial Osteology and Feeding Ecology of the Metriorhynchid Crocodylomorph Genera Dakosaurus and Plesiosuchus from the Late Jurassic of Europe.‭ ‬In Richard J.‭ ‬Butler‭ ‬-‭ ‬PLoS ONE‭ ‬7‭ (‬9‭)‬:‭ ‬e44985‭ ‬-‭ ‬M.‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Young,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Brusatte,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬B.‭ ‬De Andrade,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬B.‭ ‬Desojo,‭ ‬B.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Beatty,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Steel,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Fernández,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Sakamoto,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬I.‭ ‬Ruiz-Omeñaca‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Schoch‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.
-‭ ‬Filling the‭ ‘‬Corallian Gap‭’‬:‭ ‬re-description of a metriorhynchid crocodylomorph from the Oxfordian‭ (‬Late Jurassic‭) ‬of Headington,‭ ‬England.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Historical Biology‭ ‬-‭ ‬M.‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Young‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.



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