Cryptoclidus Facts

Cryptoclidus isn’t part of the dinosaur family like some people like to assume, but another type of reptile that’s now extinct. It was a plesiosaur or an aquatic reptile that grew up to the length of 13 feet. Scientists started finding fossils of ancient sea creatures long before they even discovered dinosaur fossils. This was because the shallow oceans did not cover many of these creatures’ bones because of the continuous moving water and low level of erosion kept much better formed aged fossils. The Cryptoclidus was one of the most common dinosaur age sea creature found and ultimately the most interesting.

The Cryptoclidus lived from middle Jurassic to the Late Jurassic, when it would go extinct. Its fossils would be first discovered in 1871 by Phillips; and as it stands, some of it remains have been found in Russia, England, Northern France, and South America where they’re being held in preservation.

What did they eat

Cryptoclidus diet was mainly composed of squids, crustaceans including shrimps, as well as small fish. It’s reported to have used its long, curved teeth to catch its preys before feeding them.


Cryptoclidus is believed to have lived from the middle Jurassic to the late Jurassic period. That’s roughly 165 million years ago.

Physical Features/Characteristics:

Whenever Cryptoclidus were not feeding or hunting for food, they would dig their jaws into the sand. They were not digging around for food. Instead, they were sieving through the sand grains for pebbles and grit that they would retain in their stomach for ballast. The pebbles and grit were also meant to weigh them down and contract the air in their lungs.Cryptoclidus was extra huge, about eight tons. They were air breathers that lived both on land and sea.

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Cryptoclidus’ had a very interesting bone structure. It did not have flippers or fins like most ocean driven life forms. It has paddles just like a turtle does. Therefore it could be easily assumed that they did not swim erratically, but gracefully moved like they were soaring in the air like a bird. They had really long necks like the Brachiosaurus, so they could grab reach far to grab at fish with the help of their longer pointy teeth. Because of the shape and angles of their teeth scientists mention that there is a good chance that they often dwelled in shallow waters and dug in the dirt a lot.

The Cryptoclidus is often mistaken for Nessie (The Loch Ness Monster). In Scotland there is one of the most popular mysteries in the world. It’s rumored that in voluminous flesh water lakes of Loch Ness, there have been sightings of a huge beast in the lake. I always thought that it (Nessie) always looked like a Cryptoclidus. Like any Unknown mysteries there were many horrible quality pictures and many non believers. Still to this day people wonder if the monster really does exist.

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