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Meyerasaurus is an extinct genus of rhomaleosaurid known from Holzmaden, Baden-Württemberg of southwestern Germany.[1]

Temporal range: Early Jurassic, 183–180 Ma
Meyerasaurus victor SMNS 12478.jpg
The holotype in the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Family: Rhomaleosauridae
Genus: Meyerasaurus
Smith & Vincent, 2010
M. victor
Binomial name
Meyerasaurus victor
(Fraas, 1910 [originally Plesiosaurus])

Plesiosaurus victor Fraas, 1910
Thaumatosaurus victor Fraas, 1910
Eurycleidus victor Zittel, 1932
Rhomaleosaurus victor Tarlo, 1960



Meyerasaurus is known from the holotype SMNS 12478, articulated and complete skeleton which preserved the skull, exposed in ventral view. The skull has a length of 37 cm (15 in), and the animal is about 3.35 m (11.0 ft) in length. It was collected from the Harpoceras elegantulum-falciferum ammonoid subzones, Harpoceras falcifer zone, of the famous Posidonien-Schiefer lagerstätte (Posidonia Shale), dating to the early Toarcian stage of the Early Jurassic, about 183-180 million years ago.[1]


Meyerasaurus was first named by Adam S. Smith and Peggy Vincent in 2010 and the type species is Meyerasaurus victor. It was originally classified as a species of Plesiosaurus, later as the second named species of Thaumatosaurus (defunct name, meaning "wonder reptile") and ultimately as a species of Eurycleidus or Rhomaleosaurus. The generic name honors the German palaeontologist Hermann von Meyer for proposing the generic name Thaumatosaurus.[1]


3D animation showing the most likely swimming motions

The cladogram below shows Meyerasaurus phylogenetic position among other plesiosaurs, following Benson et al. (2012).[2]





Stratesaurus taylori

Macroplata tenuiceps

Avalonnectes arturi

Eurycleidus arcuatus

Meyerasaurus victor

Maresaurus coccai

Atychodracon megacephalus

Archaeonectrus rostratus

Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni

Rhomaleosaurus thorntoni

Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Adam S. Smith and Peggy Vincent (2010). "A new genus of pliosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Lower Jurassic of Holzmaden, Germany" (PDF). Palaeontology. 53 (5): 1049–1063. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00975.x.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Roger B. J. Benson, Mark Evans and Patrick S. Druckenmiller (2012). "High Diversity, Low Disparity and Small Body Size in Plesiosaurs (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from the Triassic–Jurassic Boundary". PLoS ONE. 7 (3): e31838. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031838. PMC 3306369. PMID 22438869.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)