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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Plesiosaur \Ple"si*o*saur\, n. (Paleon.) One of the Plesiosauria.


n. Any of several extinct marine reptiles, of the order Plesiosauria, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. (from ''c''. 1840)


n. extinct marine reptile with a small head on a long neck a short tail and four paddle-shaped limbs; of the Jurassic and Cretaceous [syn: plesiosaurus]

Usage examples of "plesiosaur".

One of the fruits of Copes labors was the vertebral column of large marine reptile, a plesiosaur.

International Colloquium of Cryptozoologists, Nancy Derringer had trudged through Himalayan snows for Yeti, plumbed deep-water lakes all over the Americas and the British Isles for surviving plesiosaurs, and penetrated abyssal depths in quest of garagantuan cephalopods.

The dagger point drifted to the south of the map, stopping a bit north of the border of Mide, just southwest of a couple of largish extenuated lakes in which the artist had long-necked creatures that resembled plesiosaurs frolicking and chasing after silvery-scaled fishes.

We’ve also got a dramatic Albertosaurus, a formidable Chasmosaurus, two dynamic mounts of Allosaurus, an excellent Stegosaurus, plus a Pleistocene-mammals display, a wall covered with casts of primate and hominid remains, a La Brea tar-pits exhibit, a standard evolution-of-the-horse sequence, and a wonderful late-Cretaceous underwater diorama, with plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, and ammonites.

One of the flat bones, he suggested idly, might be the humerus, or upper arm bone, of a plesiosaur.

Many other large and/or dramatic reptiles died out at the end of the Cretaceous, notably the plesiosaurs (famous as a possible 'explanation' of the mythical Loch Ness mon­ster), the ichthyosaurs (enormous fish-shaped predators, reptilian whales and dolphins), the pterosaurs (strange flying forms, of which the pterodactyls appear in all the dinosaur films and are labelled, wrongly, dinosaurs), and especially the mosasaurs .

The Ichthyosaurs seem to have been quite seagoing creatures, but the Plesiosaurs were a type of animal that has no cognate form to-day.

But others would not: there were many ancient species of squid, the ammonite itself—and, dimly visible as shadows passing through the blue reaches of the deeper ocean—giant marine reptiles, mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, the dolphins and whales of the age.