Plesiosaurs constitute a monophyletic group whose stratigraphical range is uppermost Triassic to uppermost Cretaceous (Brown, 1981). They were large predatory marine reptiles, highly adapted for submarine locomotion, with powerful paddle-like limbs and heavily reinforced limb girdles (Saint-Seine, 1955; Romer, 1966; Carroll, 1988; Benton, 1990). The Plesiosauria clade belongs to the Sauropterygia, which has recently been hypothesized as the sister-group of the Ichthyosauria. Together with that clade they form the Euryapsida (Caldwell, 1997). The Sauropterygia can be subdivided into relatively plesiomorphic stem-group taxa from the Triassic (Placodonts, Nothosauroids, and Pistosauroids), and the...

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