Liopleurodon would move like no other marine animal we know of today, moving effortlessly through the water flapping its four flippers like wings.

Liopleurodon lived in the ocean and seas of the Jurassic with other awesome prehistoric marine animals. Its fossils are restricted to Europe, but it may have been more widespread.

The bite force of Liopleurodon is unknown, though Predator X is thought to have had a bite force of 15 tonnes per square inch. That's more pressure than a hydraulic press for creating springs!

Despite its status as a fierce predator, Liopleurodon is thought to have swum at speeds of just under 10 kph (6 mph) which is pretty slow. Modern dolphins can swim at double this speed and Liopleurodon would not compete well in the Americas Cup yacht race.

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Liopleurodon

"Smooth-Sided Tooth"

ReptiliaPlesiosauriaPliosauridae

Liopleurodon was an aquatic reptile predator with four paddle-like fins and an enormous pair of jaws. Liopleurodon was an average sized plesiosaur. A great beast dubbed "Predator X" has recently been discovered. This mysterious creature may have been three times the size of Liopleurodon. This finding highlights that pliosaurs were definitely the kings of the oceans during much of the reign of the dinosaurs.

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When?

Liopleurodon lived during the Mid-Late Jurassic.

Extinct for about: 00,000,000,000 Days00 Hours00 Min00 Sec

How old are you?
00,00,00.00 of your lifetimes have passed since their extinction.
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They Call it Home

This aquatic reptile was found in a strip of ancient rock running through Oxford, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire in England known as the Callovian Clay. Its fossils have also been found in France and Russia. The Callovian Clay has been preserved for the last 160 million years and contains remnants of numerous other creatures such as marine crocodiles and Ichthyosaurs.

Underwater

Underwater

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Where?

Location

  • Europe
  • Bedfordshire, UK
  • Cambridgeshire, UK
  • France
  • Russia
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What We Heard About Their Hearing

Human Ear

There is still much to discover about Liopleurodon's sense of hearing.

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What Big Teeth You Have

Dinosaur Tooth

Liopleurodon's teeth could reach a whopping 10 cm (4 in) in length, that's the length of a Swiss Army knife and about as sharp too.

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Nose Knowledge

Human Nose

Liopleurodon, much like a great white shark, probably would have used its very powerful sense of smell to locate prey, like an undersea bloodhound.

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The Poop Scoop

Dinosaur Poop

Palaeontologists know very little about the toilet habits of Liopleurodon.

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The Most Fantastic Find

The very first Liopleurodon fossil ever to be discovered was found by Henri Émile Sauvage, in 1873. He uncovered a tooth, near Boulogne-sur-Mer in France, and named the creature Liopleurodon ferox. It would become the most famous of all Liopleurodon species.

From The Expert

Some intriguing research using robots has suggested that Liopleurodon and other plesiosaurs were probably ambush predators, which could not swim at high speeds for long distances but could surprise prey with a sudden burst of speed during an attack.

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Sizing it Up

HeightLengthWeight

Compare to:

3m / 9.84ft


At this size Liopleurodon was smaller than Predator X

1 human
1 human
3 m / 9.84 ft

1.7

Number of people head-to-toe to reach the top of Liopleurodon. (average human height 1.76 m / 5.7 ft)

Compare to:

7m / 22.96ft


Liopleurodon was about as long as the largest killer whale.

1 human
1 human
7 m / 22.96 ft

4.12

Number of people side by side touching finger tips to match this length (average arm span 1.7 m / 5.58 ft ).

Compare to:

2.5tonnes / 2.8short tons


Liopleurodon was heavier than most cars.

liopleurodon weight
car
x36.13

Number of people weighing 70.31 kg / 155 lbs needed to match the weight of Liopleurodon.

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Dino On The Go!

Liopleurodon was pretty slow for such a fierce predator.

10kph / 6.21mph

  • Dolphin 34.9 kph / 21.7 mph
  • Liopleurodon10 kph / 6.21 mph
  • Sailfish 110 kph / 68.3 mph

22.5kph / 14mph

The average human sprint speed.

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Family Album

Family Album

Although it is often mistaken as a dinosaur in newspaper articles and websites, Liopleurodon is actually a plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs were a group of ocean-living reptiles that were only very distant cousins of the dinosaurs. They are more closely related to lizards and snakes than they are to dinosaurs or crocodiles.

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Vision

Liopleurodon Vision

Liopleurodon probably would have had good binocular vision making him an adept underwater hunter.

Liopleurodon Vision.

Human Vision

The human field of view is roughly 180 degrees.

Human Field of View
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The Skinny On Their Skin

Liopleurodon

While it isn't known directly from fossils, based on the skin of living animals that have similar ecology like whales and dolphins, Liopleurodon probably had fairly smooth skin for streamlining through the water.

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What's In The Nest?

Liopleurodon Egg

It is uncertain whether some marine reptiles like Liopleurodon and other plesiosaurs gave birth in the oceans or closer to land.

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Headlines

liopleurodon brain size

Liopleurodon had a skull 1.26 metres (4.1 ft) long, about the height of an adult human, and most of that would have been its jaws.

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Quite The Bite

Liopleurodon's teeth could reach a whopping 10 cm (3.9 in) in length.

Statistics

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Good Eatin'

Plant Icon

Liopleurodon would have been a solitary hunter, preying on giant fish, ichthyosaurs and even other plesiosaurs.

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Parental Guidance

Liopleurodon Parent and Child

Liopleurodon spent its entire life at sea and would have given birth to live young, just like us.

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True Colours

Color Wheel

We don't quite know, so traditional dinosaur illustrations are our best guide!