Pliosaur Information

They may look like dinosaurs, but pliosaurs were infact a group of the plesiosaurs; extinct aquatic reptiles. Their short necks supported a huge head with a jaw consisting of an impressive set of teath capable of a 15,000 kg bite. They had a teardrop-shaped body up to 18 metres in length and two sets of powerful paddles to help them swim through the water at speeds up to 10 km/hr.

Dating back around 155 million years, an example of a pliosaur skull was discovered in Dorset by Kevan Sheehan and recovered between 2003 and 2008. The skull is a staggering 2.4 m long and thanks to the Heritage lottery fund, on permanent display at the Dorset County museum.

Size comparison: orca, blue whale, Pliosaur and diver.

Image by Tor Sponga - Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway.

Pliosaur crushing a Plesiosaur with its 15 tonne bite.

(Ill: Atlantic Productions)

Pliosaurus skeleton, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Pliosaurus dinosaur, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.