Vegasaurus

Name: Vegasaurus ‭(‬Vega lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Vay-gah-sor-us.
Named By: Josť P.‭ ‬O’Gorman,‭ ‬Leonardo Salgado,‭ ‬Eduardo B.‭ ‬Olivero‭ & ‬Sergio A.‭ ‬Marenssi‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Elasmosauridae.
Species: V.‭ ‬molyi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Holotype individual roughly about‭ ‬6.7‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Antarctica,‭ ‬Vega Island‭ ‬-‭ ‬Snow Hill Island Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skeleton.

       Vegasaurus is a genus of elasmosaurid plesiosaur that lived in the waters around what we now know as Antarctica during the late Cretaceous.‭ ‬It should be remembered at this stage that during the late Cretaceous Antarctica was closer to the equator than it is today,‭ ‬and the climate and water temperature would have been warmer than today.‭ ‬Vegasaurus is the first elasmosaurid plesiosaur to have‭ ‬a cervical‭ (‬neck‭) ‬vertebrae count of fifty-four.‭ ‬Study of the finer details of the fossils of Vegasaurus have led to discovery that Vegasaurus was a relative of such genera as Morenosaurus and Kaiwhekea,‭ ‬though Morenosaurus seems to be the closer relative.‭ ‬Vegasaurus would have also been living in the same waters and at the same time as another genus of plesiosaur called Aristonectes.‭
       The skull of Vegasaurus is unknown at the time of writing,‭ ‬however the size of the cervical vertebrae show that it would have been small and perhaps also lightly built.‭ ‬Relative genera like Kaiwhekia are also known for their very small skulls,‭ ‬and by association and available fossil evidence,‭ ‬it is likely that Vegasaurus would have also had a small skull.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Vegasaurus molyi,‭ ‬gen.‭ ‬et sp.‭ ‬nov.‭ (‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Elasmosauridae‭)‬,‭ ‬from the Cape Lamb Member‭ (‬lower Maastrichtian‭) ‬of the Snow Hill Island Formation,‭ ‬Vega Island,‭ ‬Antarctica,‭ ‬and remarks on Wedellian Elasmosauridae.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology‭ ‬35‭ (‬3‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Josť P.‭ ‬O’Gorman,‭ ‬Leonardo Salgado,‭ ‬Eduardo B.‭ ‬Olivero‭ & ‬Sergio A.‭ ‬Marenssi‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.



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