RESOURCES: Dragons of the Ancient Sea

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Science  01 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5791, pp. 1211
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5791.1211a

Dinosaurs weren't the only charismatic reptiles alive during the Mesozoic Era from 245 million years ago to 65 million years ago. Plying the oceans were plesiosaurs such as the snake-necked Elasmosaurus, which could reach 14 meters in length. Get a close look at these aquatic creatures at the growing Plesiosaur Directory. The not-so-invisible hand behind the site is grad student Adam Smith of University College Dublin in Ireland. A taxonomic listing describes more than a dozen plesiosaur genera and includes images, details of fossil discoveries, and distribution information. Pages on the creatures' biology delve into their anatomy and dining habits and offer animations depicting how their flattened limbs might have moved during swimming. The directory also showcases some plesiosaur appearances on TV and in films, none of which was Oscar-worthy.

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