Top Ten Aquatic Dinosaurs

Top Ten Aquatic Dinosaurs


  1. Predaor X
    Predator X
    Predator X is an informal name for a prehistoric marine predator, thought by scientists to be a new species in the pliosaur family. The skull of the predator was excavated in mid-2008 in Svalbard, near the Arctic, by a Norwegian team lead by Dr. Jørn Hurum. It is claimed by researchers to be the “most fearsome animal ever to swim in the oceans.” The remains were discovered in June 2006 during a two-week expedition led by Dr. Hurum of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. The team found 20,000 fragments of the creature’s skeleton, which is being assembled at the museum. Due to distribution pattern of pliosaurs, scientists believe that the species were cosmopolitan, like some groups of modern-day whales.
  2. Tylosaurus
    Tylosaurus (Greek for “protuberance, knob lizard”) was a mosasaur, a large, predatory marine lizard closely related to modern monitor lizards and to snakes. Along with plesiosaurs, sharks, fish and other genera of mosasaurs, it was a dominant predator of the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous. Tylosaurus proriger was among the largest of all the mosasaurs (along with Hainosaurus and Mosasaurus hoffmannii), reaching maximum lengths of 15 meters or more (49+ ft). A distinguishing characteristic of Tylosaurus is its elongated, cylindrical premaxilla (snout) from which it takes its name and which may have been used to ram and stun prey and also in intraspecific combat. Stomach contents associated with specimens of Tylosaurus proriger indicate that this ferocious mosasaur had a varied diet, including fish, sharks, smaller mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and flightless diving birds such as Hesperornis.
  3. Kronosaurus
    Kronosaurus was a 33 ft., 11 ton carnivore that was among the most powerful predators of all time. It had a seven ft. skull with teeth the size of bananas. It roamed the seas of Australia 110 to 98 million years ago.
  4. Shonisaurus Sikanniensis
    Shonisaurus SikanniensisShonisaurus Sikanniensis1
    Shonisaurus is the largest ichthyosaur and marine reptile that has yet been found. Fossils of Shonisaurus were first found in a large deposit in Nevada in 1920. Thirty years later, they were excavated, uncovering the remains of 37 very large ichthyosaurs. These were named Shonisaurus, which means “Lizard from the Shoshone Mountains,” after the formation where the fossils were found. Shonisaurus lived during the Norian stage of the late Triassic period. The better known S. popularis species was around 15 meters (49 ft) long, but a more recently discovered species, S. sikkanniensis, was longer still, at 21 meters (69 ft). Shonisaurus had a long pointed mouth that contained teeth only at the front end. It had a large whale-like body, a long dolphin-like snout and its flippers were much longer, and narrower than in other ichthyosaurs. All of these features suggest that Shonisaurus may be a relatively specialized offshoot of the main ichthyosaur evolutionary line.
  5. Temnodontosaurus
    Temnodontosaurus was an ichthyosaur from the Early Jurassic, some 198 and 185 million years ago and swam the oceans of Europe. It had the largest even known eyes in nature at more than ten inches in diameter and its length exceeded 12 meters (30 ft). Experts believe that it could dive to depths of 2,000 ft and its large eyes allowed it to see in the darkness. Despite being roughly half the size of the massive Shonisaurus Sikanniensis, the Temnodontosaurus was the bully of the period and sat at the top of the food chain.
  6. Godzilla
    The reptile nicknamed Godzilla stretched 13 ft long and roamed the coasts of Argentina 135 million years ago.
  7. Nothosaurus Giganteus
    Nothosaurus GiganteusNothosaurus Giganteus1
    Nothosaurus (meaning false reptile) is an extinct genus of sauropterygian reptile from the Triassic period, approximately 240-210 million years ago, with fossils being distributed from North Africa and Europe to China. It is the best known member of the nothosaur order and was 13 ft. long. A complete skeleton of the species Nothosaurus raabi can be seen in the Natural History Museum in Berlin.
  8. Thalassomedon
    Thalassomedon is a genus of plesiosaur, named by Welles in 1943. Greek for thalassa, “Sea lord,” the Thalassomedon could span a massive 40 ft. in length. This genus of plesiosaur occurred in North America about 95 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period. Its closest relative is the Elasmosaurus and together they make up the family Elasmosauridae. There are six specimens of varying state of preservation on display at various U.S. museums.
    Links: Top Ten Skeletons,,
  9. Liopleurodon

    Liopleurodon, meaning ‘smooth-sided teeth,’ is a genus of large, carnivorous marine reptile belonging to the Pliosauroidea, a clade of short-necked plesiosaurs. The two species of Liopleurodon lived during the Callovian stage of the Middle Jurassic Period (c. 160 to 155 mya). It was the apex predator of the Middle to Late Jurassic seas that covered Europe. The largest species, L. ferox, is estimated to have grown up to 6.39 m (21.0 ft) in length.
  10. Sarcosuchus

    Sarcosuchus, meaning “flesh crocodile,” commonly called SuperCroc, is an extinct genus of crocodyliform and distant relative of the crocodile that lived 112 million years ago. It dates from the early Cretaceous Period of what is now Africa and South America and is one of the largest crocodile-like reptiles that ever lived. It was almost twice as long as the modern saltwater crocodile and weighed up to 8 tonnes. The first remains were discovered during several expeditions lead by the French paleontologist Albert-Félix de Lapparent, spanning from 1946 to 1959 in the Sahara Desert, they were fragments of the skull, vertebrae, teeth and scutes, subsequently in 1964 an almost complete skull was found in Niger by the French CEA but it wasn’t until 1997 and 2000 that most of its anatomy became known to science, when an expedition lead by the American paleontologist Paul Sereno discovered half a dozen new specimens, including one with about half the skeleton intact and most of the spine.
  11. Links: Animals, Top Ten Dinosaurs, Top Ten Terrestrial Dinosaurs, 

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