dinosaur museum

Thalassiodracon hawkinski

Pronounced (tha-LAS-ee-o-DRAY-kon)

Discovery Location: Street, Somerset, England
Diet: Meat Eater (Carnivore)
Period: Lower Jurassic
Age: 200 million years
Formation: Lower Liassic, Sinemurian
Length: 6 ft
Location of Original Specimen: Natural History Museum London

This is a skeleton of a juvenile Thalassiodracon in ventral view. A finely preserved individual of a long-necked plesiosaur in full articulation showing the body form, T. hawkinsi is sometimes described as a snake strung through the body of a turtle.

Plesiosaurs were air-breathing, surface living, marine reptiles that preyed principally on fish, invertebrates and other reptiles. The small sharp teeth of Thalassiodracon  were suited to feeding on fish, squid and cuttlefish-like invertebrates. They swam using their large paddles in a figure eight motion. This specimen was one of many marine reptiles collected from limestone quarries in and around the village of Street, Somerset between 1834 and 1838 by the eccentric English collector Thomas Hawkins, for whom the species is named.

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