Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Order  ???
Suborder Thalattosuchia
Family Metriorhynchidae
Subfamily Geosaurinae
Genus Plesiosuchus
1st Species Plesiosuchus manselii
Other attributes
Time Range 154-149 mya
Location United Kingdom (possibly Spain)
Name Meaning Near to crocodile
Physical Dimensions 6.8 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Plesiosuchus is a metriorhynchid reptile from the Late Jurassic of the United Kingdom and possibly Spain. It was officially named in 1884 by Richard Owen. It was the largest metriorhynchid of all time, and was originally thought to be a plesiosaur before being discovered to be a marine crocodylomorph.


Plesiosuchus was somewhat similar to its semi-close cousin, Dakosaurus; it was a crocodylomorph with a sleek, streamlined body, 4 flippers, a long tail with a shark-like fin on its end, and a conical head with a mouth filled with sharp, interlocking teeth. However, its snout was slightly longer than that of Dakosaurus. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.


Plesiosuchus was a predator, preying on turtles, ichthyosaurs, mid-sized plesiosaurs, and smaller thalattosuchians. Its large teeth had knife-like serrations from back to back, and were designed for crushing bone.


So far, all we know about Plesiosuchus is that it had a build that rendered it extremely adapted to life in the water (in this case, a slender, streamlined body, legs that evolved into flippers, a large tail fin, and a loss of osteoderms), and so, it would have been unable to clamber onto land and lay eggs like a turtle, spending all of its life in the water (and giving birth to live young); as well as this, it had salt glands that would remove excess salt from its blood (allowing it to drink seawater and eat saltwater prey without dehydrating), its deep snout, powerful bite, and large, serrated teeth allowed it to prey on large-bodied marine reptiles, and when hunting, it would cut deep into its prey's flesh before spinning violently, dismembering its chosen target.

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