Named By: Z. Gasparini, N. Bardet & M. Iturralde-Vinent - 2002.
Synonyms: Cryptocleidus caroli.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Plesiosauroidea, Cryptoclididae.
Species: V. caroli (type).
Known locations: Cuba, Pinar del Río - Jagua Formation.
Time period: Oxfordian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Skull.
The holotype remains of Vinialesaurus were initially known as a species of Cryptoclidus when it was first described in 1949, but later study has now revealed that there is enough difference between the Vinialesaurus holotype remains of other fossils of Cryptoclidus. As a cryptoclidid plesiosaur, Vinialesaurus would have likely been one of the more common forms of plesiosaur in the mid-late Jurassic, using its long neck to gain extended reach when hunting fish. Vinialesaurus shared the waters it swam in with the pliosaur Gallardosaurus, while the skies above saw the pterosaurs Cacibupteryx and Nesodactylus flying overhead.