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Monday, 14 July 2014

The Plesiosaur Body Shape and its Impact on Hydrodynamic Properties

Scott Mardis sent this to me and it is a very valuable resource. The entire article can be downloaded from the site

Cryptoclidus is the genus with a body shape most like what we are after and the others do not concern us just now

Cryptoclidus' torso is unusually steep-sided for a Plesiosaur and it indicates some better degree of vertical movement at the surface, for surfacing, poking its head up, and then going straight down again.

Emerging the last one just a little more and allowing for the neck flexibility we already know was in there, we can have the animal in virtually any "Periscope" position the sightings actually suggest

 Another one of my colleagues calls the animals in the vertical-periscope position "Bobbers" and I think it is a good term. In reviewing the cases, we found many examples. The foreflippers can be spread out at the sides for stability when in this position. 15-20 feet is a common height  reported

The Saint-Fancois-Xavier sighting evidently has the animal showing a rear fin as it rolls and here is a version of the Plesiosaur in that position:

I am adding this now as a start of a more in-depth analysis to bee built up later over time, but what is here so far does look very promising.

1 comment:

  1. Great notes regarding Cryptoclidus morphology, and excellent diagrams as well. They match up with my thinking, although I do feel that the animals likely possess a tail fluke similar to that shown on the Tatenectes model but more pronounced.


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