Tuarangisaurus

Name: Tuarangisaurus ‭(‬Ancient lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Tu-ar-an-ge-sore-us.
Named By: Wiffen‭ & ‬Moisley‭ ‬-‭ ‬1986.
Classification: Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Elasmosauridae.
Species: T.‭ ‬keyesi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore/Carnivore.
Size: Estimated at‭ ‬8‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: New Zealand‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tahora Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Based upon an almost complete skull,‭ ‬mandible‭ (‬lower jaw‭)‬,‭ ‬and cervical‭ (‬neck‭) ‬vertebra.‭ ‬Partial post cranial remains have been attributed to the genus.

       Named from a combination of the Maori word for‭ '‬ancient‭' ‬and the ancient Greek for‭ '‬lizard‭'‬,‭ ‬Tuarangisaurus was the second plesiosaur discovered in New Zealand.‭ ‬As an elasmosaurid Tuarangisaurus would have relied upon a combination of its long neck and long sharp teeth to seize prey items such as fish and squid.
       For a time Tuarangisaurus shared its waters with the much larger elasmosaurid plesiosaur Mauisaurus.

Further reading
- Late Cretaceous reptiles (families Elasmosauridae and Pliosauridae) from the Mangahouanga Stream, North Island, New Zealand. - New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 29:205-252. - J. Wiffen & W. L. Moisley - 1986.
- Tuarangisaurus australis sp. nov. (Plesiosauria: Elasmosauridae) from the Lower Cretaceous of northeastern Queensland, with additional notes on the phylogeny of the Elasmosauridae. - Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 50: 2, p 425-440 ISSN 0079-8835. - S. Seachs - 2005.





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