(after an aquatic god from Berber mythology).
Named By: Nathalie Bardet, Xabier Pereda Suberbiola & Nour-Eddine Jalil - 2003.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Plesiosauroidea.
Species: T. longicollis (type).
Size: Estimated between 5.5 and 6 meters long.
Known locations: Morocco - High Atlas Mountains.
Time period: Turonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Complete skull, lower jaws and 37 cervical (neck) vertebrae.
body is still unknown, Thililua is considered to
be a polycotylid
Named after the genus Polycotylus,
plesiosaur shaped bodies, but proportionately shorter necks and
longer jaws, with probably the most famous example of this group
Although most polycotylid fossils are known
from North America, the presence of Thililua in
Morocco helps to
establish the picture of polycotylid plesiosaurs being successful
enough to colonise most of the ocean.
But with thirty seven cervical vertebrae Thililua had more than most other polycotylid genera. This suggests that Thililua was more primitive in form and may have actually been a closely related offshoot descended from the ancestors of the polycotylids.
- A new polycotylid plesiosaur from the Late Cretaceous (Turonian) of Morocco. - Comptes Rendus Palevol 2:307-315. - N. Bardet, X. Pereda Suberbiola & N.-E. Jalil - 2003.