One of the first identified marine reptiles of the late crustaceous period, and possibly one of the coolest, was the Elasmosaurus. There is a lot to know about these neat Plesiosaurs. Elasmosaurus being part of the Plesiosaur group is very much like the Cryptoclidus but only double in size. During the Triassic Era the dinosaurs were typicially much smaller but as the ages went on evolution caught up in the Cretaceous Era and the dinosaurs have gotten much bigger in size. The Elasmosaurus was no different to this fact even though it is not actually a dinosaur. It appears looking at the fossils that the dinosaur had to have gotten air from the surface like a dolphin. Reaserchers believe it swam near the surface in the area of Kansas beacuse that is where all fossils of this species were found.
In 1868, Edward Drinker Cope found a full fossil skeleton of the Elasmosaurus. He then put it together but because the neck is over half the size of the rest of the body, he made a funny mistake. He put the head on it’s tail thinking it was a neck, then people pretty much took his word for it until 1870 when someone noticed that it’s kind of weird that the fossil had neck bones for a tail.
What did they eat?
Scientic belive that Elasmosaurus had a diet of small fish, marine invertebrates, and even woud eat small stones. This would help them digest their food the way seals, sea lions, and crocodiles do today.
Just like other Plesiosaurs the Elamosaurus lived in the water for it’s entire life, only coming to the surface for air. It is said that they would of given birth in the water like sea snakes do today.
What makes the Elasmosaurus neat looking was their long neck! Its neck was nearly half the length of its entire body and packed a whopping seventy-one vertebrae! They had strong jaws and very sharp teeth. It also had four paddles which helped it glide though the water like a dolphin would today.