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What is the Kronosaurus?

During the early Cretaceous period, the Kronosaurus was a short-necked plesiosaur that lived a marine life. The reptile was a carnivorous meat-eater that evolved from the Nothosaurs or the mid-Triassic reptile called the Pistosaurus. In this article, you will learn more about this prehistoric creature.

With its short neck and short, pointed tail, the Kronosaurus was a marine reptile that grew to reach 30 feet (or 9 meters) long. Despite its name, this particular creature was not a dinosaur, but a plesiosaur, which was another type of extinct reptile that roamed the earth millions of years ago. The head of the Kronosaurus could measure up to 9 feet long, which was about one-third of the entire length of its body. In the back of its jaws, it possessed rounded teeth that had the ability to crush shells and cephalopods (squid and octopus of the past).

The Kronosaurus breathed air, but lived its life in the open ocean. The remains of these plesiosaurs have been found with small stones in the stomach. It is believed that the creature used the stones to grind up their food or used them as a ballast, which helped them dive deep into the waters. Some scientists liken the creature to the sea turtles of today , stating that they most likely came onto the beach sand to lay eggs. The Kronosaurus probably created a nest by digging in the sand.

As the Kronosaurus swam in the ocean waters, it was on the hunt for ammonites and other cephalopods , like the squid. Scientists that have encountered the remains of the Kronosaurus found the fossilized remains of plesiosaurs and turtles in the stomach cavity. The creature had jaws strong enough and teeth sharp enough to bite into such critters. The roundness of their teeth could crush shells. For its time, the Kronosaurus was one of the most feared predators of the Mesozoic Era.

The Kronosaurus was equipped with four paddle-like flippers that moved its body through the water. Once again, their flippers were used in the same manner as the turtles of today. Some scientists believe that the Kronosaurus could move a little on land , much like the seals of today.

The Kronosaurus lived in waters located in where we see Australia during the early Cretaceous period. The first fossils discovered of this species of plesiosaur took place in 1889. When A. Crombie first happened upon the remains in Queensland, Australia, he initially thought that he had come across an ichthyosaur. It wasn’t until 1924 that the creature was given a name and later described by Longman. Other Kronosaurus fossils have been uncovered in Australia and Colombia, South America.