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Seeing as quite a few people have asked me...
The Mexican 'Liopleurodon' being reported in the popular
press is a new Middle Jurassic pliosaur being worked on by
Dino Frey and Marie-Celine Buchy. My understanding is
that it is far from complete and is only a partial string of
dorsal vertebrae. Apparently these were not appreciated
when first discovered and were incorporated into some sort
of column-like concrete post (this may be out of date though
given that the press reports talk of a complete skeleton).
The dimensions of the vertebrae indicate that (by
comparison) they belonged to an animal approx. 15m long -
I suspect the 25m given in some press accounts is lifted
from Walking With Dinosaurs. The amazing dimensions
and behavioural attributes being given the animal in the
press are the usual fantastic hyperbole.
I have no idea whether the animal really is _Liopleurodon_
but this is by no means unlikely given that Middle Jurassic
South America and Europe share the same marine fauna
(e.g. cryptoclidids, metriorhynchids, _Ophthalmosaurus_,
_Leedsichthys_, various pycnodontiforms, semionotids,
aspidorhynchiforms). I heard several months ago that the
paper on this specimen was in press - I'm guessing from the
press coverage that it's now out (though where I don't
know). Anyone that wants to know more might like to try
and contact Dino.
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL
tel: 023 92846045