Kronosaurus – A Fierce Cretaceous Marine Predator

Kronosaurus was an enormous marine reptile, not a Dinosaur but a Pliosaur, a short-necked member of the Plesiosauria.  Fossils of this animal have been found in Australia (Queensland) and South America.  It was an apex predator of marine environments during the mid Cretaceous, with the largest species such as Kronosaurus queenslandicus reaching lengths in excess of 10 metres.

The massive head of Kronosaurus accounted for approximately 25% of its total length.  The jaws ran almost the length of the skull, giving this predator an enormous gape.  The largest teeth in an adult Kronosaurus were over 7 inches long.

An Illustration of Kronosaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The first fossils of this marine predator were found in 1889, it was named and described in 1901.  Kronosaurus had very strong gastralia (belly ribs), when compared to other Pliosaurs.  Scientists have speculated that this animal may have spent more time out of the water than other Pliosaurs.  It has also been suggested that these animals did go onto land to lay eggs, like modern turtles.

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