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ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

ELASMOSAURUS
"Thin-plated lizard"


ANATOMY
Elasmosaurus was a long-necked marine reptile that was up to 46 feet long (14 m). Half of its length was its neck, which had as many as 75-76 vertebrae in it (in comparison, people have 7-8 neck vertebrae). Elasmosaurus had four long, paddle-like flippers, a tiny head, sharp teeth in strong jaws, and a pointed tail. It was the longest of the Plesiosaurs.

CLASSIFICATION
Elasmosaurus was a reptile, but not a dinosaur. It was a: WHEN ELASMOSAURUS LIVED
Elasmosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period, and went extinct during the K-T mass extinction (65 million years ago).

BEHAVIOR
Elasmosaurus lived in the open oceans and breathed air. Some Plesiosaurs have been found with small stones in their stomachs; these may have been used to help grind up their food, or as ballast, to help them dive.

DIET
Elasmosaurus ate fish and other swimming animals. They had strong jaws and sharp teeth.

LOCOMOTION
Elasmosaurus swam slowly using its four paddle-like flippers in a manner similar to that of modern turtles. It may have been able to move a little bit on sandy shores, perhaps to lay its eggs.

DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Elasmosaurus was named by paleontologist E. D. Cope in 1868 (from a fossil was found in Wyoming, USA). Other Elasmosaurus fossils have also been found in North America.

ELASMOSAURUS and PLESIOSAUR LINKS
Print out a K-3 level Elasmosaurus info page to color!
Plesiosaur information sheet from Enchanted Learning.
Plesiosaur fossils at the UCMP, Berkeley.




Information Sheets About Dinosaurs
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the dinosaur you're interested in isn't here, check the Dinosaur Dictionary or the list of Dinosaur Genera. Names with an asterisk (*) were not dinosaurs.
How to write a great dinosaur report.

For dinosaur printouts, click here.

For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.




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