Scientific name Pleurosaurus
Higher classification Pleurosauridae
|Similar Reptile, Rhynchocephalia, Palaeopleurosaurus, Planocephalosaurus, Pleurosauridae|
Pleurosaurus is an extinct genus of diapsid reptiles belonging to the group Sphenodontia, extinct relatives of the modern tuatara. Pleurosaurus fossils were discovered in the Solnhofen limestone formation of Bavaria, Germany and Canjuers, France. It contains two species, P. goldfussi and P. ginsburgi.
Pleurosaurus is one of the few known aquatic sphenodontians. Its body was approximately 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) long, and elongated for hydrodynamic streamlining, with comparatively short limbs and a powerful tail. It would have been able to swim rapidly, by undulating its slender body in a snake-like fashion. It had only small limbs, which probably did not aid in swimming, and nostrils placed far back on the head, close to the eyes.