Pliosauroidea is an extinct clade of marine reptiles. Pliosauroids, also commonly known as pliosaurs, are known from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The pliosauroids were short-necked plesiosaurs with large heads and massive toothed jaws. These swimming reptiles were not dinosaurs, but distant cousins of modern lizards. They originally included only members of the family Pliosauridae, of the order Plesiosauria, but several other genera and families are now also included, the number and details of which vary according to the classification used.

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Facts[edit | edit source]

The distinguishing characteristics are a short neck and an elongated head, with larger hind flippers compared to the fore flippers, vice-versa of the plesiosaurs. They were carnivorous and their long and powerful jaws carried many sharp, conical teeth. Pliosaurs range from 13 to 49 ft. (4 to 15 metres) and more in length.

Their prey may have included fish, sharks, ichthyosaurs, dinosaurs and other plesiosaurs.

The largest known genera are Kronosaurus and Pliosaurus; other well known genera include Rhomaleosaurus, Peloneustes, and Macroplata.

Fossil specimens have been found in Africa, Australia, China, Europe, North America and South America.

Many very early (from the Early Jurassic and possibly Rhaetian (Latest Triassic)) primitive pliosauroids were very like plesiosauroids in appearance and, indeed, used to be included in the family Plesiosauridae.

In Walking with... Series[edit | edit source]

Walking with Dinosaurs Pilot[edit | edit source]

The WWD pilot depicts Liopleurodon in manner very similar to the "Cruel Sea" episode, albeit in a different color.

Walking with Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

Cruel Sea[edit | edit source]

This episode was centered on marine reptiles, including Liopleurodon, which was depicted as an apex predator (and possibly very oversized than in real life). It died at the end of the episode, when it became beached in a storm.

Giant of the Skies[edit | edit source]

This episode featured Plesiopleurodon - a cousin of Liopleurodon, though of a different cousin. It was based on the Liopleurodon model from the previous episode and it stalked the old male Ornithocheirus as he crossed the Atlantic ocean.

Sea Monsters[edit | edit source]

Sea Monsters Episode 3[edit | edit source]

The Jurassic segment of this episode featured Liopleurodon as the dominant hazard of the Jurassic. A pod of them came across a dead Leedsichthys at night, and when Nigel Marven came to investigate, one of the pliosaurs came too close, but was scared away by the stink suit.


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