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Related to sauropterygian: nothosaur, Sphenodontidae, Placodonts


Any of various extinct aquatic reptiles of the group Sauropterygia that flourished during the Mesozoic Era and included the plesiosaurs.

[From New Latin Sauropterygia, superorder name : Greek sauros, lizard + Greek pterux, pterug-, wing, flipper; see pet- in Indo-European roots.]

saur·op′ter·yg′i·an adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


any carnivorous Mesozoic marine reptile of the group Sauropterygia, with paddle-like limbs
of or relating to reptiles of the Sauropterygia
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
A new finding corresponding to material of a Spanish sauropterygian individual is described here.
Nothosaurus is a sauropterygian taxon known by several species, whose fossils have been found in the Middle and lower Upper Triassic of Europe, China, Israel and Tunisia (Rieppel and Wild, 1996; Rieppel et al., 1997; 1999; Rieppel, 2000; 2001; Albers and Rieppel, 2003; Li and Rieppel, 2004; Albers, 2005; Jiang et al., 2006; Shang, 2006; Bickelmann and Sander, 2008; Klein and Albers, 2009; Ji et al., 2014; Liu et al., 2014; Klein et al., 2015).
Just as important is the 'debut' of top predators - such as the long-snouted bony fish Saurichthys, the ichthyosaur Mixosaurus, the sauropterygian Nothosaurus and the prolacertiform Dinocephalosaurus - that fed on fishes and small predatory reptiles.
The second locality, Can Serra de l'Arca, yielded an incomplete specimen of a pachypleurosaurid sauropterygian. It preserves the thoracal region with extremely pachyostotic neural arches and vertebral centra, pachyostotic ribs and a probable distal fragment of a femur (see Sanz, 1983 for further details).
Vilanova de la Sal area (Lleida Province), Pyrenean basin: Some fish remains and a partially articulated sauropterygian skeleton were collected in this new site.
Although the phylogenetic position of choristoderes within Diapsida has yet to be resolved, all of the proposed positions (stem-neodiapsid, basal archosauromorph, sauropterygian relative etc) would predict an origin in the Late Permian or earliest Triassic.
The team from the Wits University in South Africa studied fossils of reptiles called sauropterygians from millions of years ago and found several similarities to current day aquatic animals with regards to their inner ears.
Having drawn this link in three lineages of extinct marine reptiles - mosasaurs, sauropterygians, and ichthyosaurs - the scientists said that genetic, or chromosomal, sex determination may have played a surprisingly strong role in adaptive radiations and the colonization of the world's oceans by a diverse array of species.