Elasmosaurus is known for its long neck, the longest of any plesiosaur and in fact the longest neck by body size of any animal. Although the most vertebrae in any animal is actually the Albertonectes which had more neck bones, and a comparably sized neck, but at the moment the elasmosaurus still pips it for overall length.
Elasmosaurus is one of the longest necked animals both it terms of length and in proportion to its overall body length ever to have lived. A plesiosaur that lived during the late cretaceous and was 45 ft long, with a 23 ft long neck, it lived in the shallow inland seas of what is now North America
Elasmosaurus is an implausibly long necked plesiosaur that actually scientists struggle to understand why their necks where so long. There comes a point when they actually get in the way, of swimming hunting and just living. however live it did, and we take a look at what we know about elasmosaurus and its crazy long neck below.
We have fast facts directly below this if you are in a hurry, and below those the main answers and facts about the Elasmosaurus
So let’s jump into our Elasmosaurus facts before the albertonectes becomes more famous!
Elasmosaurus Quick Facts
- Elasmosaurus full length estimates range from 34 feet to 45 feet long
- Elasmosaurus could be up to 2.3 tons, or 4400 lbs in weight to go with it massive length
- Elasmosaurus was a marine reptile that lived in shallow seas that covered Central north America at the time.
- Although we call them shallow seas they would have been up to 800 -900 metres deep and 1000 km wide.
- The sharp pointed teeth of Elasmosaurus were designed to catch fish, although the is debate on how it would catch them.
- Relatives of Elasmosaurus include other plesiosaurs like Albertonectes which had an equally long neck . They were streamlined like other plesiosaurs, with flippers and a thin body
- Elasmosaurus is a nice easy dinosaur name to say. it has 5 syllables and is said like this. Eh – Laz – Muh – Saw – Rus
How big was the Elasmosaurus ?
Elasmosaurus was huge, but most of its size was made up by its long neck. Its Full length estimates range from 34 feet to 45 feet long and Elasmosaurus weighed up to 4500 lbs (2200 kg)
The neck of Elasmosaurus could make up 60% of its body length and be up to 7 metres or 23 feet long. At the end of this very long neck was a short had with 40 or more sharp teeth.
How heavy was the Elasmosaurus ?
As we mention above the Elasmosaurus could be up to 2.3 tons, or 4400 lbs in weight to go with it massive length. Although it wasn’t the biggest prehistoric marine reptile it was still huge .
How long was the Elasmosaurus ?
For a long time there as some debate about the length of Elasmosaurus While the neck is accepted to up to 7.1 meters or 23 feet long. The debate comes from different paleontologists theories. In 1952 is was estimated to be about 34 feet long, (10.3 meters), prior to this by Cope is was thought to be up to 45 feet in length, or almost 14 meters.
What was Elasmosaurus Habitat?
Elasmosaurus was a marine reptile that lived in shallow seas that covered Central north America at the time.
Although we call them shallow seas they would have been up to 800 -900 metres deep and 1000 km wide.
What Did Elasmosaurus eat?
The sharp pointed teeth of Elasmosaurus were designed to catch fish, although the is debate on how it would catch them. Some thought the neck would hide the bulk of the body and let it get closer to the fish, or it would have used its neck to slice through the water and stun fish before eating them.
What Other Animals did Elasmosaurus live with?
The Seas, called the Western interior Seaway , were full of life. Including Fish like Saurodon, Gillicus and MartinIchthys, prehistoric sharks, other plesiosaurus, including terminonator, brachauchenius.
There were also other mosasaurs in this seas like Tylosaurus and Clidastes which may have seen them as prey.
What Dinosaurs Were Elasmosaurus related to?
Relatives of Elasmosaurus include other plesiosaurs like Albertonectes which had an equally long neck . They were streamlined like other plesiosaurs, with flippers and a thin body
How Fast Could the Elasmosaurus Swim?
Although we can estimate the speed of dinosaurs on land through footprints and bone density and size, it becomes much more difficult to do so with swimming dinosaurs. ( or not dinosaurs) but still people have tried.
Plesiosaurs have been estimated to swim at around 3.4 miles per hour (5 kph) when cruising but would likely be able to do short spurts of speed to catch prey and avoid predators when needed.
fast enough to ambush and catch its prey though!
Was Elasmosaurus the Largest Plesiosaur?
Although we think of plesiosaurs as long necked streamlined marine reptiles they do come in various shapes and sizes. The long neck ones like elasmosaurus were certainly big and long, but there were others even bigger and longer!
Plesiosaurs like liopleurodon, Kronosaurus and Predator X are all thought to have been both longer and much, much heavier.
While Elasmosaurus was not bigger than these giants, it was the largest long necked plesiosaur.
What Movies Have Featured a Elasmosaurus ?
Almost any movie featuring the lock ness monster with feature a plesiosaur. However, not by name.
However it was cut from Jurassic World in favour of the mosasaurus. you can check out the video below to learn more. it was originally going to be called Plesiosaur Pond and guests were going to be able to take a underwater submarine to see both plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs.
When Did the Elasmosaurus become Extinct?
The only fossilized Elasmosaurus found is dated at 80.5 million years ago. So while we are not sure when it went extinct we do know it was alive 80 million years ago. It was likely alived for a few million years after this as plesiosaurs in general have been dated all the way to 66 million years ago and the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Could the Elasmosaurus Swim?
Elasmosaurus was an excentant swimmer and had evolved to live in water fulltime. Although not particularly fast, at 3.4 miles an hour swimming speed. it was streamlined, with flippers to help it swim faster than that when needed.
it still needed to breather air, and would have to come up the the surface to breath however, just like other marine reptiles as the time.
What does the name Elasmosaurus Mean?
Elasmosaurus Name means thin plate lizard and it was named by Cope in 1868.
We have Plesiosaur coloring pages to download from the below link ( click the picture)
Elasmosaurus almost had its head fixed to its tail!
When the fossils of Elasmosaurus were being reconstructed the famous paleontologist Edward cope put the head of the Elasmosaurus on the end of the tail by mistake. This was made fun of my orthniel March who had a great rivalry with Cope and was part of the “bone Wars” arguments about dinosaurs at that time.
How many Teeth Did Elasmosaurus have?
Elasmosaurus had over 40 sharp teeth in its small head. At the front of its top jaws it had 6-8 sharp teeth that would have been used to spear fish to stop them swimming away. It also have 14 teeth behind these in the upper jaw and 19 in the lower jaw.
Where were Elasmosaurus Fossils discovered?
Only one Elasmosaurus fossil has been found so far and that was 170 years ago in 1867. It was discovered near Fort Wallace in Kansas.
There may be another fossil discovered in Germany in 2017 but that had not been confirmed yet.
When did Elasmosaurus Live?
It lived around 80 million years ago in what is now North America, but at the time was a hue shallow inland sea.
Did Elasmosaurus have The longest Neck?
While there are sauropods on land that have longer necks ( they are also much bigger) the Elasmosaurus has the longest neck in relation to its size of any animal that ever lived. it could be over 7 meters long ( 23 ft)
When was Elasmosaurus First Discovered?
Elasmosaurus is one of the earliest fossils to be found. Being found in 1867, however it is the only fossil currently classified as Elasmosaurus and we are still waiting on one from germany to be classified.
Who named the Elasmosaurus ?
It was named by Edward Drinker Cope in 1868 after being found the year earlier near Fort wallace in Kansas.
How to Pronounce Elasmosaurus ?
Elasmosaurus is a nice easy dinosaur name to say. it has 5 syllables and is said like this.Eh – Laz – Muh – Saw – Rus
Just like in the Jurassic World Movie the Elasmosausus is often overlooked by its bigger, toothy cousins both plesiosaurs and the mosasaurus.
However, having arguably the longest neck per size of any animal we thought was worth taking a longer look at. Something this long necked creature couldn’t do, if its head was out of the water anyway!
up to 45 feet long puts it in T-Rex territory for length, though not weight, teeth, fame or anything else of course and its neck is its claim to fame and one that is has held for more than 150 years, despite a challenge from a closely related Plesiosaur – Albertoncertes.
Don’t forget to look over the rest of our dinosaur facts pages, our coloring and facts sheets are also free to download. We have popular dinosaurs Like Mosasaurus , Spinosaurus and Pyroraptor ! to some less well known ones that are appearing in the new Jurassic World dominion movies.
There are answers to common dinosaur questions, and loads of other cool dinosaur activities and resources to look at. Just check them out on the big button below.
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.