Named By: Wiffen & Moisley - 1986.
Classification: Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Elasmosauridae.
Species: T. keyesi (type).
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.
from a combination of the Maori word for 'ancient' and the ancient
Greek for 'lizard', Tuarangisaurus was the
discovered in New Zealand. As an elasmosaurid Tuarangisaurus
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.
- 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.