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Liopleurodon

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CGTPL Liopleurodon
Liopleurodon
Vital statistics
Attributes Massive body; powerful flippers; powerful jaws; highly territorial; doesn't like putrizene; can hold its breathe for hours
Diet Leedsichthys; marine animals; dinosaurs like Eustreptospondylus; pterosaurs like Rhamphorhynchus
Fossil finds Europe
Possibly Central America
Temporal fossil range Jurassic
160 to 155mya
Other names
Production information
Notable individuals
TV appearances Walking with Dinosaurs Pilot
Walking with Dinosaurs: Cruel Sea
Sea Monsters: To Hell and Back?
Book appearances

Liopleurodon was a very large pliosaur from the Jurassic. It was the largest predator to ever live.

Physical appearance and biologyEdit

Liopleurodon was a giant marine reptile which was part of a group of reptiles called the pliosaurs. This group was part of the plesiosaur group. This animal possessed all the key features of pliosaurs such as four, powerful flippers, a long, narrow snout and needle-sharp teeth.

Most Liopleurodon are black with a white underbelly and spots, like a modern great white shark. This was probably used as camouflage. However, some are green with a white underbelly and no spots at all.

Behaviour and traitsEdit

Liopleurodon was a gigantic predator, with the largest specimens reaching 25 metres in length. Along with its extraordinary length, it weighed 150 tonnes. It used its four powerful flippers to propel its heavy bulk through the water silently.

The skull of Liopleurodon was the typical shape of pliosaur head. It was long and heavy and was attached by a strong albeit short neck. Its jaws contained lots of needle-sharp, interlocking teeth; perfect for killing prey quickly and efficiently. Its skull and jawbones were specially designed to withstand the bite force generated by its jaws. Being the largest predator in the late Jurassic seas, animals like marine crocodilians, giant fish, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and even other pliosaurs were included on Liopleurodon's menu.

Most marine reptiles had to close its nostrils whilst underwater; not Liopleurodon. This animal had evolved a nose that was able to smell underwater without inhaling water. This adaptation allowed Liopleurodon to pick up the scent of blood from miles away and, like modern sharks, would follow the trail until they found the animal they were pursuing. The pliosaur would then accelerate towards its prey and the victim would be almost instantly killed by the attacker.

Despite having to breathe air, Liopleurodon spent all of its life in the water as its weight would not be supported out of it. As a result, they were viviparous, meaning that they gave birth to live young. In order to do this, it most likely gave birth in shallower waters. The young most likely remained in shallow waters until adulthood where it would venture out into open waters.

Liopleurodon were extremely territorial. If the owner of the territory encountered an intruder, their presence would not be tolerated and the owner would most likely chase off the intruder with violence. However, on some occasions, they group together to feed on the corpses of giant prey, such as Leedsichthys.

In Walking with Dinosaurs PilotEdit

WWD1x3 Liopleurodon 2

A Liopleurodon attacking an Eustreptospondylus. (Cruel Sea)

Liopleurodon appeared in the pilot stranded on a beach like at the end of Cruel Sea.

In Walking with DinosaursEdit

Cruel SeaEdit

An old bull Liopleurodon was first seen snatching a fishing Eusteptospondylus off of dry land and performing a death roll on it in order to kill it. The Liopleurodon returned underwater and ate the Eustreptospondylus.

The bull was later seen lurking in the depths when several female Ophthalmosaurus were giving birth to their pups. As one mother struggled to push out her pup, the Liopleurodon attacked and killed the mother and her pup. Afterwards, he swam off.

WWD1x3 Liopleurodon 56

A male and female Liopleurodon clashing. (Cruel Sea)

One month later, the bull Liopleurodon was seen taking in air and then returned to the depths. Then, a female Liopleurodon invaded his territory. The bull aggressively confronted the female and ripped one of her flippers. The female then swam off, leaving a trail of blood that several Hybodus sharks followed.

Months later, after a severe storm, the bull Liopleurodon was left beached on the sea shore. As his weight suffocated him, he slowly died. His corpse was feasted on by several Eustreptospondylus.

In Sea MonstersEdit

The Second Deadliest Sea EverEdit

An adult Liopleurodon was seen feeding off of a dead Leedsichthys before swimming off.  Later, Nigel Marven later tested two different chemicals to see which was better at repelling attacking Liopleurodon.  During the tests, two juvenile Liopleurodon attacked a dummy filled with squid.  The first chemical did nothing whilst the second (putrizene) repelled the Liopleurodon.

SM1x3 Liopleurodon 45

A group of Liopleurodon feasting on a Leedsichthys carcass. (To Hell and Back?)

During the night, Nigel found a pod of Liopleurodon feeding on the Leedsichthys carcass.  One came too close and Nigel ejected putrizene from his diving suit and repelled it.  The pod then swam off full.

Behind the scenesEdit

List of appearancesEdit

Palaeontological inaccuraciesEdit

  • Liopleurodon's maximum length in real life was only 7 metres.
  • Liopleurodon's maximum weight in real life was only around 5 tonnes.

Notes and referencesEdit

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