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Dakosaurus

Dakosaurus (meaning "tearing lizard") is better known from the well publicized 1996 discovery of the Argentinian species, D. andiniensis, dubbed "Godzilla" in the press, but the first remains of this animal were actually found in Western Europe, including England, with the species D. maximus.

With an estimated length of up to 6 meters, Dakosaurus was the top predator of its time, feeding on large prey which might have included sharks, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. It had a relatively short skull compared to the other thalattosuchians, with jaws equipped with huge teeth ideal for crushing bones. Dakosaurus lived during the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian and was represented by four species: D. maximus, D. andiniensis, D. manselii, and D. nicaeensis.

 


Name


Dakosaurus maximus

Authority   


von Quenstedt, 1856


Meaning of the generic name


Tearing Lizard


Size


Length: 6 m

Remains


Several isolated bones, teeth,

Age and Distribution


Kimmeridgian - Tithonian, Europe, South America

 


Classification


Paracrocodylomorpha, Diapsida, Archsauromorpha,   Mesoeucrocodylia, Thalattosuchia, Metriorhynchidae

 

  Further Reading

 

P. Vignaud (1) ; Z. Gasparini 1996, New Dakosaurus (Crocodylomorpha, Thalattosuchia) in the Upper Jurassic of Argentina, Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences.vol. 322, no3, pp. 245-250 (11 ref.)

  Other Species  

D. andiniensis,Vignaud & Gasparini, 1996 D. manselii, Hulke, 1870 and D. nicaeensis, Ambayrac, 1913.


 

  Synonyms  

Dacosaurus Sauvage, 1873 Plesiosuchus Owen, 1884

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Life reconstruction of Dakosaurus andinensis on right & Caypullisaurus on left (© D. Bogdanov)
 
 
 
Dakosaurus andinensis (© N. Tamura)
  
 
Dakosaurus maximus (© D. Bogdanov)
 
 
 
 
Dakosaurus maximus (© N. Tamura)
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