By Anya Haigh

Plesiosaurs were around four metres in length and as you can see from their very sharp teeth, they were carnivores which means they only ate meat such as squid and fish.

 

VOTE NOW for Plesiosaurs in our Jurassic Coast Big Five competition

 

Top Three Fascinating Facts

plesiosaur found by Mary Anning

A plesiosaur fossil found by Mary Anning

A Surprising Fact

Plesiosaurs gave birth to live young, a bit like us humans. They would only have had one baby at a time as the baby would have been up to 1.5 metres before it was even born. This means that it would have been up to a third of its mother’s size before it even started eating live food! [5]

Researchers think that because of the massive effort it would take to give birth to just one baby it is likely that the baby would have stayed with its mother for some time after it was born and may have even lived in pods like whales do today. [5]

Why you should vote for Plesiosaurs

Two of the very first nearly complete Plesiosaur fossils were found right here on the Jurassic Coast by Mary Anning in the 1820s [6]. This was a revolutionary find and led to one of the first correct identifications of the group. Plesiosaurs have a deep history rooted in Dorset and Devon, and have been found all along the Jurassic Coast for many years.

 

References:
1. https://oumnh.ox.ac.uk/out-of-the-deep
2. https://www.bbcearth.com/walking-with-dinosaurs/modal/plesiosaurus/
3. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2156370-this-is-the-oldest-fossil-of-a-plesiosaur-from-the-dinosaur-era/
4. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/06/fossil-sea-monster-found-antarctica-heaviest-of-its-kind-elasmosaurs/
5. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/8/110811-plesiosaurs-live-birth-fossils-young-science-chiappe-dinosaurs-fetus/
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Anning#Plesiosaurus