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ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

KRONOSAURUS
Kronosaurus printout

ANATOMY
Kronosaurus was a short-necked plesiosaur, a meat-eating marine reptile 30 feet (9 m) long. It had four flippers, a huge head with strong jaws, and a short, pointed tail. The head was up to 9 feet (2.7 m) long, about 1/3 of the entire length of the body. It had rounded teeth at the back of the jaws which could crush shells and cephalopods (squid and octopi).

Kronosaurus was not a dinosaur, but a plesiosaur, another type of extinct reptile. Plesiosaurs may have evolved from the Nothosaurs or the Pistosaurus, a mid-Triassic reptile.

WHEN KRONOSAURUS LIVED
Kronosaurus lived during the early Cretaceous period.

BEHAVIOR
Kronosaurus lived in the open oceans and breathed air. Some Plesiosaurs have been found with small stones in their stomachs; these may have been used to help grind up their food, or as ballast, to help them dive. They probably laid eggs in beach sand (like modern-day sea turtles).

REPRODUCTION
Kronosaurus may have laid eggs in nests that they dug into the sand, much as modern-day sea turtles do.

DIET
Kronosaurus ate ammonites and other cephalopods. Fossilized plesiosaurs and turtles have been found in the stomach cavity of Kronosaurus. Kronosaurus had strong jaws and sharp teeth. It had rounded teeth at the back of the jaws, used to crush shells. Kronosaurus was one of the top predators in the seas of the Mesozoic Era.

LOCOMOTION
Kronosaurus swam using their four paddle-like flippers in a manner similar to that of modern turtles. They might have been able to move a little bit on land, as modern seals do.

CLASSIFICATION
Kronosaurus was a plesiosaur, a marine reptile, not a dinosaur. It was a member of the following clades:

LOCATION OF FOSSILS
Kronosaurus lived in the seas that covered parts of Australia during the early Cretaceous period.

DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Kronosaurus fossils have been found in Australia and Colombia, South America. It was discovered in Queensland, Australia, in 1889 by A. Crombie and was originally thought to be an ichthyosaur. It was named and described by Longman in 1924.

PLESIOSAUR LINKS
Plesiosaur fossils at the UCMP, Berkeley.





Information Sheets About Dinosaurs
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)

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How to write a great dinosaur report.

For dinosaur printouts, click here.

For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.




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