Marine Reptile Click to enlarge image
Pliosaur model from Cretaceous nick name Eric Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Feeding Habits


Pliosaurs were aquatic carnivorous reptiles, not dinosaurs, that lived between 220 and 70 million years ago. This pliosaur has not yet been named scientifically but may be a specimen of Yuzhoupliosaurus chengjiangensis.


Pliosaurs had:

  • large, sharp, serrated teeth for catching prey;
  • lungs for breathing air;
  • modified paddle-like limbs (like those of a penguin) which they used to swim through the water.

Fossils description

Yuzhoupliosaurus chengjiangensis was named after the place where it was discovered - Chongqing - which was known as Yuzhou in ancient times.

Evolutionary relationships

Pliosaurs are short-necked plesiosaurs. They are more closely related to lizards and snakes than to dinosaurs and birds.