Kronosaurus (Krow-no-sore-us), Kronus lizard, lived in the Early Cretaceous of Australia and South America and became extinct in the first of the Late Cretaceous. Kronosaurus is named after Kronos, the Greek god of time. Kronosaurus was a pliosaur. Plesiosaurs have been conventionally divided into the long neck plesiosaurs and short necked pliosaurs.
Genera and Species
Classification: Plesiosauria, Pliosauroidea, Pliosauridae
Species: K. queenslandicus, K. boyacensis.
Kronosaurus had rounded rear teeth that were suited to crushing hard-shelled prey. The teeth were conical, and smaller than in other pliosaurs, allowing smaller to medium-sized prey to be manipulated and swallowed.
LENGTH: 9 - 10 m (33 ft).
WEIGHT: 7 tons.
Giant squids like Boreopeltis are known from Australia, where they show evidence of predation by Kronosaurus. Today’s giant squid live at depths of 600 – 1000 feet and are preyed on by Sperm whales. Another source of prey would have been the long necked elasmosaurid plesiosaurs that were quite common in the southern oceans. It would have torn its prey to pieces in a manner seen in the modern crocodile.
History of Discovery
Discovery, Longman in 1924; initially only a jaw was found, and later a large skull. The reconstructions depend on related pliosaurs and the original size estimates are considered to be excessive (Dixon, 2006).
Found in the vast inland sea that covered western Queensland and Columbia between 110 and 100 million years ago (Smith, n.d.).
Knol, R. (2013, March 13). The Early Cretaceous Sea. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://www.dinosaurcollectorsitea.com/ecretPliosaur.html
Dixon, D. (2006). The Complete Book of Dinosaurs (pp. 10-12). London UK: Hermes House.
Kronosaurus. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/k/kronosaurus.html
Plesiosauria. (2008, August 13). Kronosaurus.
Smith, A. (n.d.). Kronosaurus Longman, 1924. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://plesiosauria.com/kronosaurus.php