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plesiosaur

[plee-see-uh-sawr]
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noun
  1. any marine reptile of the extinct genus Plesiosaurus, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, having a small head, a long neck, four paddlelike limbs, and a short tail.

Origin of plesiosaur

< New Latin Plesiosaurus (1821), equivalent to Greek plēsí(os) near, close to + -o- -o- + saûros -saur; orig. so named because of its conjectured nearness to modern reptiles, relative to the ichthyosaurs
Related formsple·si·o·sau·roid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plesiosaur

Historical Examples

  • In the popular mind, perhaps, the Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur are the typical representatives of that extinct race.

    The Story of Evolution

    Joseph McCabe

  • The Plesiosaur, on the other hand, had a small and delicate head, with slender teeth and small eyes.


British Dictionary definitions for plesiosaur

plesiosaur

noun
  1. any of various extinct marine reptiles of the order Sauropterygia, esp any of the suborder Plesiosauria, of Jurassic and Cretaceous times, having a long neck, short tail, and paddle-like limbsSee also ichthyosaur Compare dinosaur, pterosaur

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin plēsiosaurus, from Greek plēsios near + sauros a lizard
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

plesiosaur in Science

plesiosaur

[plēsē-ə-sôr]
  1. Any of various large, extinct marine reptiles of the genus Plesiosaurus and related genera of the Mesozoic Era. Most plesiosaurs had a small head on a long neck and a broad body with paddlelike limbs; one group had a large head on a short neck. The exact relationship between plesiosaurs and other reptiles is not known.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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