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Plesiosaur (Cimoliasaurus magnus)

Age – Late Cretaceous; Commonality – scarce; Size – teeth: ½ to 2 inches, vertebrae: ~1 ½ to 5 inches, most are around 2 inches

The teeth of this plesiosaur have a circular base and a slender crown. The crown has prominent striations and no carinae. The teeth curve backwards toward the lingual side. The curvature in plesiosaur teeth is different from the curvature in crocodile teeth in that the tooth does not curve back much in the bottom section of the tooth, and then at a certain point on the tooth it starts to curve back significantly. Croc teeth are also relatively fatter at the base and smoothly taper to a point, while plesiosaur teeth don’t taper that much initially, and then start tapering to a point.

The vertebrae are massive and distinct. The dorsal side has a hole and the ventral side has two holes. The two faces are slightly concave. The thoracic vertebrae are longer than the neck and tail vertebrae. Other bones are rare.

Teeth

Labial View

Lingual View

Lateral View

Lateral View

Basal View

Classical Plesiosaur tooth: strong striations, no carinae, and a lot of the enamel missing. Most NJ Plesiosaur teeth are about an inch long. The slender and pointed shape of the teeth helped the plesiosaurs catch fish.

Labial View

Lingual View

Lateral View

Lateral View

Basal View

EDIT: this is a croc tooth and will be moved.

Labial View

Lingual View

Lateral View

Lateral View

Basal View

This plesiosaur tooth has less prominent striations. The tip damage is either in vivo wear or some kind of post-mortem wear.

Lingual View

Basal View

This tooth shows the basal structure well. This would have been a nice size tooth at about 5/4 inches if whole.

Vertebrae

Dorsal View

Ventral View

Rostral/Caudal View

Rostral/Caudal View

Oblique View

Oblique View

This is a nice large Plesiosaur thoracic vertebra. It is 2 ½ inches long, 3 inches wide, and 1 ¾ inches in height. When complete, Plesiosaur vertebrae are very distinct and hard to mistake for something else.

Fragment 1 - Oblique View

Fragment 2 - Oblique View

These two fragments show the bone structure/texture well. The vertebral surfaces are much denser, while the inside is more porous and has a unique pattern.

EDIT: second fragment is actually a mosasaur vert. Will be moved.

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