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Plesiosaur hydrodynamics

Ben Creisler

A new online webpage:

The Hydrodynamics of Plesiosaurs

Project leader : Luke Muscutt
Main supervisor(s): Prof Ganapathisubramani, Dr Gareth Dyke, Dr Gabriel Weymouth



Millions of years ago when the dinosaurs were walking around on the
earth, there was a type of marine reptile called a plesiosaur that was
swimming in the seas. Plesiosaurs were reptiles that had evolved to
live in the ocean, and had four big flippers that they used to swim
with. These flippers were similar to the flippers of a turtle or sea
lion, but whereas these creatures only really use their front two for
propulsion, plesiosaurs used all four.

Plesiosauria is a large group of animals with diverse characteristics,
and it is therefore a huge task to analyse  the subtle differences
between all of their swimming techniques. Instead, general
characteristics about plesiosaurs have been established using two main
specimens: one to give the geometry of the flippers and another to
give the limits of motion.