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MEXICAN PLIOSAUR



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of column-like concrete post (this may be out of date though 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.

-- 
Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045