Kronosaurus (pronounced Kroe-noe-sore-uss) ("lizard of Kronos") is an extinct genus of short-necked pliosaur. It was among the largest pliosaurs, and is appropriately named after the leader of the Greek Titans, Kronos.

Discovery and speciesEdit

Kronosaurus lived in the Early Cretaceous Period (Aptian-Albian).

The holotype specimen of the species K. queenslandicus was described by Longman in 1924, and is currently in the Queensland Museum.



Size issuesEdit

Body-length estimates had previously put the total length of Kronosaurus at 12.8 meters (43 feet).[1] However, recent study comparing fossil specimens of Kronosaurus to other pliosaurs suggest that the previous estimate was an exaggeration, with true length probably only 9-10 meters (30 33 feet).


The teeth of Kronosaurus are large in length (exceeding 7 cm). However, they lack carinae (cutting edges) and the distinct trihedral (three facets) of Pliosaurus and Liopleurodon teeth. The combination of large size, conical shape and lack of cutting edges allows for easy identification of Kronosaurus teeth in Cretaceous deposits from Australia.[2]


Large, round bite-marks have been found on the skull of an Albian-age Australian elasmosaurid (Tuarangisaurus) that could be from a Kronosaurus attack.[3]


  1. ^ Romer AS, Lewis AD. 1959. A mounted skeleton of the giant plesiosaur Kronosaurus. Breviora 112: 1-15.
  2. ^ Massare JA. 1997. Introduction - faunas, behaviour and evolution. In: Callaway JM, Nicholls EL. (Eds.), Ancient Marine Reptiles. Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 401-421.
  3. ^ Sachs S. 2005. Tuarangisaurus australis sp. nov. (Plesiosauria: Elasmosauridae) from the Lower Cretaceous of northeastern Queensland, with additional notes on the phylogeny of the Elasmosauridae. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 50 (2): 425-440.

External links Edit

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