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Pistosaurus
Fossil range: Middle Triassic
Pistosaurus BW
Pistosaurus longaevus; reconstruction after Carroll, 1988
Scientific classification

Class:

Sauropsida

Superorder:

Sauropterygia

Family:

Pistosauridae

Genus:

Pistosaurus

Species:

  • P. longaevus

Pistosaurus longaevus is an extinct genus of aquatic sauropterygian reptile closely related to plesiosaurs. Fossils have been found in France and Germany, and date to the Middle Triassic.

Appearance Edit

Pistosaurus was about 3 meters (10 ft) long, and had a body form resembling that of nothosaurs, aquatic reptiles that flourished during the Triassic. However, the vertebral column was stiff, like that of a plesiosaur, implying that the animal used its paddle-like flippers to propel itself through the water, as the plesiosaurs probably did. The head also resembled that of a plesiosaur, but with the primitive palate of a nothosaur, and numerous, sharp teeth ideal for catching and eating fish.[1]

Although it is unlikely that Pistosaurus was a direct ancestor of the plesiosaurs, the mixture of features suggests that it was closely related to that group.[1]

ClassificationEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 73. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 


Plesiosauria
Plesiosauria
Mantell's Iguanodon restoration

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