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).
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.
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
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
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
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.
- 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.