The Online Library of Knowledge

Marine reptiles


The skull of Liopleurodon, a relative of KronosaurusThe skull of Liopleurodon, a relative of KronosaurusKronosaurus was a marine reptile of the pliosaur group (short-necked plesiosaurs) that lived during the Cretaceous. It was one of the largest marine reptiles that has ever lived. Its massive head was about a quarter of its entire body length. Its strong jaws had conical teeth between 7 and 10 centimetres (3–4 inches) in length. It had a short neck, a bulky torso, four long, paddle-like flippers and a short, pointed tail.

Power and speed

Kronosaurus, with other marine reptilesKronosaurus, with other marine reptilesPliosaurs like Kronosaurus were the top predators of the Cretaceous seas. Armed with massive, teeth-lined jaws, they could prey on even the largest sea creatures. Kronosaurus's streamlined body was built for speed through the water. It “flew” through the water using its four paddle-like flippers, each nearly as long as a person is tall, in a style similar to that of sea turtles.

Facts about Kronosaurus

  • Pronunciation: CROW-noh-SAW-rus
  • Size: 9–10 m (30–33 ft) long
  • Where and when: Warm, shallow seas off Queensland, Australia, 110 million years ago (Mid-Cretaceous)
  • Prey: Turtles, plesiosaurs, elasmosaurs, fish, squid
  • Features: Sharp front teeth for trapping prey; back teeth good for crushing bones and shells; forward-facing eyes for good vision; powerful, agile swimmer
  • Relatives: Other pliosaurs, including Pliosaurus, Liopleurodon and Simolestes

The name Kronosaurus means “lizard of Kronos”. Kronos (Chronos) was the Greek god of Time who ate his five children as they were born to prevent them from ever rivalling him.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile