Named By: Adam S. Smith and Peggy Vincent - 2010.
Synonyms: Eurycleidus victor, Plesiosaurus victor, Rhomaleosaurus victor, Thaumatosaurus victor.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria, Pliosauroidea, Rhomaleosauridae.
Species: M. victor (type).
Size: 3.35 meters long, skull 37 centimetres long.
Known locations: Germany.
Time period: Toarcian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Complete and articulated skeleton with skull that is in ventral view (the underside).
described as a species of Plesiosaurus
back in 1910, Meyerasaurus
has spent a lot of time being shunted around from one genus to another
before it was given its own place. First the remains were moved from
Plesiosaurus to Thaumatosaurus.
Then a long necked pliosaur
was suggested to be a synonym to Thaumatosaurus,
but the problem here is that Thaumatosaurus was
described upon only
partial remains. As such Thaumatosaurus
eventually became regarded as
a numen dubium (dubious name) because the holotype (original and
identifying) remains could not really be used to identify any further
discoveries. This resulted in material that was referred to
Thaumatosaurus being placed within the Rhomaleosaurus
genus as new
species, while Thaumatosaurus has since become a
disused taxon. A
later review of all material assigned to Rhomaleosaurus
some of the later referred material being moved over to Eurycleidus
well as creating Meyerasaurus. The origin of this
name is in honour
of Christian von Meyer who originally created the name Thaumatosaurus.
Meyerasaurus was a long necked pliosaur, a marine reptile that seems to be intermediate in form from the long necked plesiosaurs of the early Jurassic and the short necked pliosaurs that radiated out from them. Meyerasaurus itself would have been a hunter of fish and possibly cephalopods (squid, etc.) and would have used the sharp teeth in its jaws to snare prey, while probably swallowing it whole, due to the fact that the teeth were not suited for tearing flesh. Meyerasaurus itself would have been at risk from early shorter necked pliosaurs that were evolving to hunt and kill other marine reptiles.
- A new genus of pliosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Lower Jurassic of Holzmaden, Germany. - Palaeontology 53(5):1049-1063. - A. S. Smith & P. Vincent - 2010.