from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of Reptilia, typical of the order Plesiosauria, and formerly conterminous with it, now restricted to forms from the Upper Triassic (Rhætic) and the Liassic, as P. dolichodirus, with extremely long neck.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Paleon.) A genus of large extinct marine reptiles, having a very long neck, a small head, and paddles for swimming. It lived in the Mesozoic age.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun extinct marine reptile with a small head on a long neck a short tail and four paddle-shaped limbs; of the Jurassic and Cretaceous


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Mary Anning 1799-1847, the great West Country palaeontologist, struggled for years to have her discoveries – such as the plesiosaurus – recognised as her own.

    The Royal Society's lost women scientists

  • June, 1972, when Rines first saw “a large, darkish hump, covered ... with rough, mottled skin, like the back of an elephant”: there is no plesiosaurus, nor any other aquatic dinosaur, nor slithering monstrosity of any kind, in the murky depths of Loch Ness.

    Ben H. Winters: Robert Rines: The Death of a Monster Hunter

  • These diagrams of the plesiosaurus, the ichthyosaurus, the pterodactyle, give you a notion of some of these extinct reptiles.


  • And here is a cast of the pterodactyle and bones of the ichthyosaurus and the plesiosaurus, just as fresh as if it had been recently dug up in a churchyard.


  • He may even now — if I may use the phrase — be wandering on some plesiosaurus-haunted Oolitic coral reef, or beside the lonely saline lakes of the Triassic Age.

    The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells

  • “The other is a plesiosaurus (almost lizard), a serpent, armoured with the carapace and the paddles of a turtle; he is the dreadful enemy of the other.”

    Journey to the Interior of the Earth

  • Suddenly the ichthyosaurus and the plesiosaurus disappear below, leaving a whirlpool eddying in the water.

    Journey to the Interior of the Earth

  • All at once an enormous head is darted up, the head of the plesiosaurus.

    Journey to the Interior of the Earth

  • Thus the chalk contains remains of those strange flying and swimming reptiles, the pterodactyl, the ichthyosaurus, and the plesiosaurus, which are found in no later deposits, but abounded in preceding ages.

    Autobiography and Selected Essays

  • The plesiosaurus, a serpent with a cylindrical body and a short tail, has four flappers or paddles to act like oars.

    Journey to the Interior of the Earth


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