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Reptilia - Sauropterygia - Pliosauridae

Synonymy list
YearName and author
1824Plesiosaurus giganteus Conybeare
1838Ischyrodon Merian
1841Plesiosaurus (Pleiosaurus) Owen pp. 282-285 figs. Plate 68, fig. 5-5''
1842Pliosaurus Owen p. 64
1845Spondylosaurus Fischer
1845Pliosaurus Meyer p. 281
1845Ischyrodon Meyer p. 282
1849Pliosaurus d'Orbigny p. 211
1849Spondylosaurus d'Orbigny p. 211
1852Ischyrodon Quenstedt p. 119
1861Pliosaurus Owen p. 252
1861Spondylosaurus Owen p. 255
1871Pliosaurus Cope p. 235
1871Pleiosaurus Phillips
1874Cetiosaurus rigauxi Sauvage p. 19
1874Pliosaurus Seeley
1875Pliosaurus Cope p. 15
1889Pliosaurus Lydekker pp. 120-123 fig. 36
1903Pliosaurus Stefano p. 66
1913Pliosaurus Andrews p. 2
1940Pliosaurus White p. 465
1948Peloneustes irigisensis Novozhilov p. 118 fig. 1b
1959Stretosaurus Tarlo
1960Pliosaurus Delair p. 69
1960Pliosaurus Tarlo p. 152
1960Stretosaurus Tarlo p. 159
1960Pliosaurus irgisensis Tarlo p. 174
1988Pliosaurus Carroll
1988Stretosaurus Carroll
1999Pliosaurus Malakhov p. 241
2000Pliosaurus irgisensis Storrs et al. p. 192
2002Pliosaurus Sepkoski, Jr.
2002Stretosaurus Sepkoski, Jr.
2004Pliosaurus Noè et al. p. 14
2004Pliosaurus portentificus Noè et al. p. 14 figs. 1-2
2010Pliosaurus Ketchum and Benson p. 15
2011Pliosaurus Ketchum and Benson p. 126
2012Pliosaurus Knutsen p. 260
2012Pliosaurus Knutsen et al. pp. 238-239
2012Pliosaurus Sassoon et al. p. 4 figs. 2-11
2013Pliosaurus Benson et al.
2014Pliosaurus Benson and Druckenmiller figs. 2-3

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phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
Pistosauria(Baur 1890)
Plesiosauria(de Blainville 1835)
familyPliosauridaeSeeley 1874

If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.

R. Lydekker 1889Skull relatively very large, elongated, with moderately long mandibular symphysis, which usually extends to the 7th tooth, and the premaxillary and opposing lower teeth enlarged. Teeth large and stout, with strongly marked ridges, and generally a pair of carinas, which are frequently separated by a smooth space. Neck short, with the anterior vertebrae large. Vertebras with the arches and cervical ribs articulating to the centrum only by synchondrosis, and with flat zygapophyses ; cervicals (fig. 38) with very short centra, which in the anterior region carry two distinct costal facets and have very slightly cupped terminal faces, but in the posterior region have flattened faces and single facets ; dorsals with flat faces and a forward overhang of upper part of centrum. Centra of middle cervicals with subcylindrical terminal faces, but those at the extremities of the series with the same faces transversely elliptical. Pectoral girdle (fig. 36) of the general type of that of Peloneustes (infra), the ventral plates of the scapulae either meeting in the median line or perhaps separated by a small omosternum ; coracoids apparently not produced in advance of glenoid cavity. Ventral plates of scapulae large, broad, and flat, the dorsal portion being relatively smaller than in Thaumatosaurus (infra). In the pelvis the pubis nearly square ; ischia elongated (as in fig. 44). In the adult the pubis may have joined the ischium to form an obturator foramen. Humerus shorter than femur, and articulating with only the radius and ulna, which are shortened, oblong, and separated by a very small interval.
E. M. Knutsen 2012Pliosaurid plesiosaurian with 6-9 pairs of teeth adjacent to the mandibular symphysis (counted to a transverse line drawn across the dentary where the posterodorsal fusion of the dentaries ends); anterior teeth with a flat, smooth labial surface, convex lingual surface with longitudinal enamelled ridges, and that are trihedral in cross-section.
R. B. J. Benson et al. 2013Pliosaurids possessing seven autapomorphies: (1) trihedral or subtrihedral teeth (although similar teeth are also present in Gallardosaurus iturraldei from the Oxfordian of Cuba [12], which may or may not be referable to Pliosaurus; see Phylogenetic analysis); (2) anterior end of premaxilla–maxilla contact on lateral surface of snout deeply interdigitating with an anteroposteriorly ‘zig-zagging’ appearance; (3) occipital condyle lacking notochordal pit, but scored by several, irregularly-arranged grooves; (4) first (mesialmost) premaxillary alveolus reduced to approximately half or less the diameter of the second alveolus (although an even smaller, perhaps vestigial, first alveolus may be present in some Cretaceous pliosaurids [27]); (5) long posteroventral process of the jugal ventrally underlaps the squamosal; (6) dorsal surface of surangular mediolaterally broad, as in other thalassophonean pliosaurids, but inclined to face dorsolaterally (except in Pliosaurus carpenteri n. sp.) and bounded laterally by an anteroposteriorly oriented groove, unlike in other pliosaurids (this groove is absent in P. carpenteri and an immature specimen proposed as the ‘neotype’ of Pliosaurus brachyspondylus by Knutsen [34], CAMSM (Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge, United Kingdom) J.35991); (7) proximal surfaces of radius and tibia markedly convex in large individuals (possibly controlled by ontogeny and absent in immature specimens such as CAMSM J.35991 and the holotype of Pliosaurus brachydeirus).