Date of Award
College of Science
Type of Degree
F. Robin O’Keefe
Tatenectes laramiensis is a cryptocleidoid plesiosaur from the Late Jurassic Sundance Formation. This study primarily concerns a partial skeleton comprised of dorsal vertebrae, ribs, gastralia, and pelvic girdle. Even though the skeleton is incomplete, it is hypothesized that the preserved fossils are sufficient to indicate the overall body shape and also the preferred habitat of Tatenectes. Possibly the most notable of the novel characters is the pachyostotic state of the gastralia. In relation to the ribs and overall size of Tatenectes, in comparison to the gastralia in related taxa, these gastralia are disproportionately robust. The combination of these morphologies suggests a dorso-ventrally compressed body shape. A sub-cylindrical cross-section along with the low center of gravity indicated by the pachyostotic gastralia suggest that Tatenectes laramiensis inhabited shallow coastal regions.
Geology, Stratigraphic -- Jurassic.
Street, Hallie P., "A study of the morphology of Tatenectes laramiensis, a cryptocleidoid plesiosaur from the Sundance Formation (Wyoming, USA)" (2009). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1073.