Elasmosaurus was a large marine reptile that lived during the Late Cretaceous (about 80 million years ago) in a shallow sea that once covered what is now central North America. It belonged to a group of reptiles called plesiosaurs which are characterized by the possession of a very long neck, small head, turtle-shaped body with flippers rather than legs, and a short tail, all of which are represented on this Elasmosaurus toy.
- History: The first Elasmosaurus fossil was described by the famous American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in 1868. Cope was a fossil lizard expert, and this led to a curious mistake - while in a hurry to publish his description of Elasmosaurus, he put the skull on the end of the tail, thinking that it was the neck. Cope spend a lot of time and money trying to buy back all of the copies of his original description so that he could correct his mistake and put the head on the right end of the animal.
- Scientific Name: Elasmosaurus, which means ‘thin plate lizard’. This odd name refers to the thin, plate-like bones in the hip skeleton of this animal.
- Characteristics: At nearly 50 feet and three tons, Elasmosaurus was one of the biggest plesiosaurs. Although its head was quite small, its jaws were filled with long pointed teeth. Its long neck allowed Elasmosaurus to quickly swing its head in all directions and snatch fish as they swam by. All four limbs were modified into paddles that the Elasmosaurus used like oars to row itself through the water. The tail as too short to have been used for propulsion – it was probably used like a rudder to steer.
- Size: This Elasmosaurus toy model is 10 inches long and 4.75 inches wide.
- The Elasmosaurus is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection.
- All of our products are Non-toxic and BPA free.