|“||My first sighting was a nothosaur.||”|
Nothosaurus was a primitive marine reptile from the Triassic. Despite being mainly aquatic, it would often climb onto land to rest or lay its eggs. It was an ancestor of the plesiosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous.
Physical appearance and biology
Nothosaurus was a medium-sized marine reptile. Unlike the more advanced plesiosaurs and pliosaurs, it didn't have flippers, but short legs with webbed feet, which were used as a method of locomotion
underwater and on land - unlike the later marine reptiles, Nothosaurus could move both on land and in the sea. It had a streamlined and flexible body as well as a flat, eel-like tail. This combination made it a great swimmer.
The head of Nothosaurus was large. Its jaws were lined with lots of needle-sharp and fin teeth which faced outside of its mouth. Even though they could snap their jaws with tremendous force, the muscles used for opening its jaws were very weak, similar to the modern crocodiles.
Behaviour and traits
Nothosaurus was a very curious marine reptile. They lived in pairs and would hunt together. If they
encountered an unfamiliar creature, they would investigate it to determine if it was a threat or not.
Like the other marine reptiles that lived in its environment, Nothosaurus lacked gills and would have to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Once done, it could hold its breath for a very long time.
These nothosaurs would occasionally travel on land to either bask or lay eggs, much like modern Sea Turtles do. But this was always a risk, as carnivorous dinosaurs use this as an opportunity to get an easy meal, especially the Nothosaurus hatchlings.
In Sea Monsters
Once Nigel suited up and dived into the sea, he was met by the Nothosaurus and its mate. As human beings were an unfamiliar sight, the nothosaurs investigated Nigel. Just in case the pair got too inquisitive, Nigel had an electric prod in hand. Shortly after, Nigel grabbed one of the Nothosaurus by the jaws and hitched a ride on it. Nigel then let it go and found a Tanystropheus.
Behind the scenes
List of appearances
- Sea Monsters
- Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Predators of the Deep
- Sea Monsters Adventure Game
- The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life