These Sea Dinosaurs with Long Neck might Surprise you

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Everyone knows that the animal with the longest neck on earth is Giraffe, but not many know that there were animals in ancient prehistoric times which used to have neck as long as a bus.

Yes, there were animals or monsters which used to live with the dinosaurs, not on land but seas. These sea dinosaurs used to have neck so big that they could catch their prey without even noticing from very far distance.

Sea dinosaur with long neck used to sneak on their prey from beneath dark seas and swallow them whole. Below mentioned are some long neck sea dinosaurs which were alive during prehistoric times.

10. Nothosaurus

prehistoric long neck sea monsters
Image Credit: Elke Wetzig

Nothosaurus were the ancient sea monsters or can be termed as sea dinosaurs with long neck, were alive during the Triassic period, approximately 250 million years ago.

Numerous species of this sea dinosaur has been found in North Africa, Europe and China. It is suspected that these animals could grow up to 13 feet but later some researchers suggested that some of its species can grow to a maximum size of 23 feet.

Nothosaurus were semi aquatic just like seals today. It is believed that they could not remain in water for a long time and so they only used to dive to catch their prey like fishes, squids etc. They used to come back to the land to rest.

Previously when the fossils of these animals were found they were suspected to be from the family of plesiosaurs because of their long neck, which could grow up to 4.3 feet in length. But later it was found that they belong to the genus of sauropterygian.

These sea dinosaurs with long neck have broad flat skull with long jaws. They have long, sharp needle like teeth from which no prey would be able to escape.


9. Dinocephalosaurus

long neck ancient sea creatures
Image Credit: Nobu Tamura

Dinocephalosaurus belongs to the family of aquatic protorosaurs, who used to live in live in ancient seas of China during Triassic period.

The fossils of this long neck ancient sea creature were first discovered in Guizhou, China in 2002. These fossils were partially complete, but later in 2008 another, more complete form of fossils were recovered in Luoping, Yunnan, China.

These marine reptiles can grow to a maximum length of 11 feet with at least 5.7 feet long neck and 25 vertebrae. They mostly use their long neck to catch preys.

Protosaurs family mostly have land living animals but Dinocephalosaurus was exception who was expected to live in water because their legs were not well developed as other land dwelling animals.

One more thing is that they have eyes above their head which are mostly seen in water living creatures so that they can attack their prey from below.

These creatures have unique way of hunting by suction. They have developed flexed open in their neck which increases the pressure and power of intake by suction force. This means that no one can escape when they are caught in this suction force.

This sea monster became famous and subject of research because it was the first aquatic protorosaur with long neck.

Like many other marine reptiles Dinocephalosaurus gives birth to live young creature.


8. Tanystropheus

long neck sea dinosaurs
Image Credit: Ghedoghedo

Which prehistoric Sea Dinosaur has a neck longer than its other half body?

Tanystropheus was the 20 feet sea reptile which was alive during the middle and late Triassic period. After its discovery these creatures became very famous because of its long neck, 9.8 feet, which sometimes grows longer that its body and tail combined. The neck was composed of 12 to 13 extremely elongated vertebrae.

Due to long but stiff neck, these creatures have always been in controversies for being a aquatic or semi aquatic. This theory is also supported by the fact that the fossils of this animal are found in the semi-aquatic fossil sites. The fossils have been recovered in Europe, Switzerland, Middle East and China.

Some fossils of this animal indicated long, conical teeth which could have been used for catching fish but other specimens also showed that they also have three-cusped teeth which are used for gripping insects.

According to other researches, it is believed that these creatures could have also fed on marine algae just like lizards.


7. Mauisaurus

sea dinosaurs with long neck
Image Credit: Nobu Tamura

Who was the Largest Sea Dinosaur living in New Zealand during Late Cretaceous period?

Mauisaurus belongs to the family of plesiosaur, who was alive during the Late Cretaceous, which is 77 million years ago in New Zealand. It was the largest sea dinosaurs ever discovered in New Zealand.

All the remains of this creature is found only in New Zealand. The fist discovery was made in 1877.

Mauisaurus is believed to have longest necks amongst all plesiosaur with 68 cervical vertebrae. They can grow up to 26 feet long with approximately 12 feet long neck. These creatures had a long sender body with 2 large fins which would have helped in swimming at high speed. They have large jagged teeth used to grab fish or squids.


6. Futabasaurus

long neck prehistoric sea animals
Image Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson

 Futabasaurus was the sea dinosaur which alive during the Late ancient Cretaceous period of Fukushima, Japan. It was the first elasmosaurid which was found in Japan. The fossil of this species was found in 2006 by a high school student named Tadashi Suzuki.

Futabasaurus is amongst the largest sea dinosaurs with long neck. IT can grow up to 30 feet with neck length half of its own size. Its neck can grow for at least 14 to 15 feet and the whole body can weight around 4 tonnes.

It name is derived from the Futaba Group of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan because it was found in the Tamayama Formation which comes under this group.

With the help of these fossils found, a partial holotype of this species is created as described in Wiley Online Library.


5. Hydrotherosaurus

longest neck sea dinosaur
Image Credit: Ghedoghedo

Hydrotherosaurus comes under the genus of Elasmosauridae, which is a group of plesiosaurs. This snake like monster is a huge sea dinosaur with long neck.

Do you wonder which sea dinosaur has the longest neck amongst Elasmosaurs?

It was discovered in the Moreno Formation of California and since then it became very famous for its neck because it has the longest neck ever discovered in the whole category of Elasmosaurs.

Hydrotherosaurus can grow to the maximum length of 26 feet with 15 feet long neck. They have 60 vertebrae in total in their neck. Their head was very small, approximately 1 feet, this is the reason they might only hunt small and medium fishes for food.

According to Prehistoric Wildlife, one more thing to notice is that these long Neck Sea dinosaurs have long and pointed teeth but their teeth’s were projected more to the sides of the mouth then up and down. This type of teethes are mostly seen in fish eating animals.

They have a long streamlined body with four large flippers, which were designed so that they could hold, balance and move the huge body of this sea monster.


4. Styxosaurus

prehistoric monster with long neck
Image Credit: Shahnoor Habib Munmun

Styxosaurus was the sea dinosaur with long neck which belongs to the family of Elasmosauridae. They were alive during Late Cretaceous period.

These prehistoric sea monsters can grow to a full size of approximately 37 feet. They have a long neck which can elongate to a size of at least 17.2 feet. This long neck helps in attacking schools of fish silently from the dark.

According to the National Geography, they have long pointed teeth which were helpful in gripping and holding prey. Since these teethes cannot be used to cut or chew, they swallow their prey whole.

These creatures have two pairs of flippers-like paddles, which help them to flow in the waters just like seals.

There were hundreds of stones in their bellies, called gastroliths. These stones help them to digest their food or provide ballast as they swam.


3. Thalassomedon

sea dinosaur with long neck
Image Credit: Ryan Somma

Thalassomedon was the genus of plesiosaur and was named by Samuel Paul Welles in 1943. These animals used to live in North American seas, approximately 95 million years ago.

These creatures were amongst the largest elasmosaurids ever found on earth. They can grow up to 38 feet in length. They have a very long neck which could grow approximately 19 to 20 feet in length.

They have eyes above their head this means that they sneak on their prey from below. Their long neck helps them to reach their prey without getting noticed. They have long 5 centimeter in length teeth, which are used to hold their prey. They also swallow they their food as a whole.

There were stones called gastroliths, in their stomach to help them digesting their food or it could have been used for ballast.


2. Elasmosaurus

sea dinosaur with longest neck
Image Credit: MCDinosaurhunter

Which is the largest sea dinosaur with long neck?

Elasmosaurus can have a slight shorter neck as compared with Albertonectes, but they can grow far bigger than them in total length. This sea dinosaur with long neck can grow up to 43 feet with approximately 23 feet long neck.

This sea monster that used to reproduce with live birth was found in the North America region, approximately 93 million years ago.

The first fossil specimen of this creature was discovered in 1867 near Fort Wallace, Kansas, United States. From then on there were at least 10 discoveries till now of these species. Long neck of this creature used to have 72 vertebrae.

There was also one theory made by some researchers that they can grow up to 50 feet long and have a weight of 45 ton. This discovery was made according to the specimen found during Jurassic Period.

Because of lack of proof the above discovery was not believed as true. Later according to the previous full size specimen it was stated that they were around 2 ton in weight.

This sea monster with long neck is also amongst the top ten largest sea dinosaurs ever discovered on earth.


1. Albertonectes

long neck sea monsters
Image Credit: Smokeybjb

Which sea dinosaur has most number of neck vertebrae?

Albertonectes is the longest elasmosaur ever discovered. This only single species of long neck sea dinosaur was found by Tai Kubo, Mark T. Mitchell and Donald M. Henderson in Alberta, Canada.

This discovery became very famous because the animal discovered had the longest neck from any other discovery.

These prehistoric sea monsters had 23 feet long neck with a record 76 elongated vertebrae. Before this discovery there has been no sea dinosaur with so much neck vertebrae.

This only specimen who was found in 2012 is located at Royal Tyrell Museum of Plaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta for public viewing. The holotype which was created was approximately 37 feet long without the head.

During the discovery only head on the animal was not found, so if head is also assumed in the above holotype the full size would become 38 feet.

It whole body has 132 vertebrae if calculated from head to the tail.

According to the National Geographic, Kubo and other author propose that the front position of the neck would have been broken because of the weight of the back body on the neck when this sea dinosaur fell down on the ground.

Geetesh.S

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