Fossil range: Kimmeridgian
Scientific classification












  • P. brachydeirus
    (Owen, 1840) (type)
  • P. macromerus
    Philips, 1871
  • P. portentificus
    Noè et al., 2004



Pliosaurus is a genus of extinct marine reptile, from the Mesozoic era. It is included in the family Pliosauridae. It was a large predatory reptile and its diet would have included fishes, squids and other marine reptiles. This genus has contained several species in the past but it currently consists of the type species P. brachydeirus, P. macromerus and P. portentificus.[1]


Using Liopleurodon, another large pliosaurid, as a guide, the Svalbard specimen had been estimated to have been 15 metres (49 ft) long, 45,000 kilograms (99,000 lb) in weight and had teeth 30 centimetres (12 in) long.[6][7] The jaws of the creature may have been able to exert more force than those of a Tyrannosaurus rex,[8] with one news source stating the bite was over 10 times more powerful than any modern animal and four times more powerful than that of a Tyrannosaurus.[9] It is estimated to have lived approximately 147 million years ago.[10] Analysis of bones from the four flippers suggest that the animal cruised using just two fore-flippers, using the back pair for extra speed when pursuing and capturing prey. P. funkei's brain was of a similar type and size, proportionally, to that of today's great white shark, the team says.[7] Later on, thorough scrutiny of this Svalbard specimen revealed that it was not as massive as originally claimed; total length estimates have been revised to 10.0–12.8 metres (32.8–42.0 ft).[

Discovery and speciesEdit

Currently there are three recognised species of Pliosaurus, all known from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation of England.[1]

Pliosaurus brachydeirus is known from the Kimmeridgian of England.

Pliosaurus macromerus is known from the Kimmeridgian of England.

Pliosaurus portentificus is known from the late Kimmeridgian of England.


  1. ^ a b Noè, L. F., Smith, D. T. J. & Walton, D. I. (2004). "A new species of Kimmeridgian pliosaur (Reptilia; Sauropterygia) and its bearing on the nomenclature of Liopleurodon macromerus". Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 115, 13-24.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.