Liopleurodon Ferox, commonly known as Liopleurodon, was a pliosaur, a vast genus of predatory aquatic reptiles with shortened necks, tear-shaped trunks, and huge skulls. A sizable voracious sea reptile that lived 150–160 million years ago in the middle to late Jurassic Era. They were enormous apex predators that prowled throughout Western Europe, consuming numerous species. A tooth, the first piece of evidence, was discovered in France in 1873.
Liopleurodon, which translated from Greek as “smooth-sided teeth,” was called based on minimal fossil records, just three teeth that were each about 3 in long, like many other extinct creatures found in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Liopleurodon is noteworthy because it contains a number of fossils of varying quality that span in size between 16 – 45 ft. This has caused many experts to debate whether these specimens should be placed into the other species. The animal had a formidable bite thanks to its large head and jaws, which accounted for 1/5 of its total diameter. This theory is even further supported by the 7-inch teeth that are deeply embedded within its jaw.
Liopleurodon has the classic pliosaur limb configuration, which, while less effective than an ichthyic architecture, nonetheless allows for great acceleration. The configuration of the nostrils makes them highly intriguing since it indicates a directed perception of a smell. This would allow Liopleurodon to locate its target while still being considerably out of the visual line of sight, possibly even by sensing the blood of recently killed animals like modern-day sharks might.
A carnivore that lived in the Jurassic era, Liopleurodon was a top predator of the oceans. However, it is impossible to know exactly what it prefers to eat. Liopleurodon could well have consumed food sources that are plentiful, such as squids, but since plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs were also prevalent and their moving velocity was probably far slower than squids, this theory could be implausible unless Liopleurodon had been an ambush predator. Another theory holds that Liopleurodon was an opportunistic eater, with cephalopod hooklets serving as a representation of the acid-resistant byproduct of its diversified diet.
The majority of modern-day western Europe was once surrounded by a shallower body of water that really was home to a flourishing plesiosaur and pliosaur population, which the Liopleurodon is a part of. Although Liopleurodon spent their whole lives submerged, they lacked gills comparable to numerous other marine reptiles of this era. This implies that, similar to modern aquatic mammals like whales, they occasionally had to reach the surface to breathe.
The Lipleurodon’s reproductive mechanism and system are poorly understood. Researchers have determined that Liopleurdons could not leave the ocean and would therefore produce live juvenile specimens. One youngster at a time and a lengthy breeding season were likely, similar to other near-peer marine species. The remains of a 78-year-old Pliosaur that was pregnant revealed that they bore only one sizable baby reptile. Nevertheless, they most likely bred in shallower waters.
Given the enormous size of the Liopleurodon, it seems unlikely that it possessed any natural adversaries large enough to defeat it aside from other individuals of its lineage. It is probable that larger plesiosaurs regularly encroached on smaller members of their species.
The supremacy of the plesiosaurs, and by extension the Liopleurodon, was threatened by the arrival of the mosasaurs, a group of ferocious and especially suited aquatic reptiles. They eventually outperformed Liopleurodon and their close relatives. They had become nearly extinct by the time of the Cretaceous-Tertiary catastrophe, which happened 65 million years ago.
Facts about the Liopleurodon
- Liopleurodon has a keen ability to smell and rapidly locate prey.
- Liopleurodon used to have to emerge on the surface to inhale air, very much like whales.
- The average length of Liopleurodon was about 22 ft long.
- Liopleurodon had decent acceleration, supporting its ambush-predator hypothesis.
- Henri Émile Sauvage established the genus designation of Liopleurodon in 1873.
Is a Liopleurodon a dinosaur?
While coexisting with so many dinosaurs, it wasn’t an actual dinosaur. The maritime lizard Liopleurodon was alive during the Jurassic era, and technically it was a species of short-necked plesiosaur that lived in the areas that make up modern-day western Europe.
Was Liopleurodon a mosasaur?
While you could lump them together regarding their overall build and habitats Liopleurodons, however, weren’t equivalent to mosasaurs. Neither species is linked because Liopleurodons existed in the Jurassic, whereas Mosasaurs appeared considerably afterward in the Late Cretaceous. The discrepancy in timelines is the major differentiator.
Were there really 80 ft Liopleurodons?
Initial measurement estimations for Liopleurodon were often made purely on the basis of the dimension of its head, which led to a dramatic exaggeration of its dimensions however it was skewed. The general public’s interest was piqued by allegations of an 85-foot-long oceanic leviathan, and many media specials confirmed the creature’s size. Because of this, depictions of Liopleurodon in art occasionally highlight its enormous size and give different estimates of how long its neck is.
What’s the true Liopleurodons size, really?
The biggest Liopleurodon species might reach 33-40 ft to account for margin error and the fact that there are not substantial numbers of quality fossils to claim the existence of such specimens as truly factual or false. Nonetheless, most were between 16 and 23 feet in height on average, and it’s believed that they weighed anywhere between 2,200 and 3,700 lbs.