|“||This is Nothosaurus. An alligator-like plesiosaur, they can be a bit nippy.||„|
|— Allen, about Nothosaurus|
Nothosaurus (name meaning "False Reptile") is a genus of sauropterygian reptile that originated during the Triassic period in what is now Africa, Asia, and Europe. Measuring around 4 meters long, this marine reptile had teeth that were forward-pointed to make it easier to catch fish. Nothosaurus was an ancestor of the group of marine reptiles known as the plesiosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous.
In the episode "Birth of a New Blood", a pair of Nothosaurus were brought to the park from the Late Triassic 225 million years ago. They reside in the Primeval Aquarium enclosure of the marine exhibit of the park.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Nothosaurus was first discovered in 1834. Fossils of them have been distributed from North Africa to Europe and even in China.
Nothosaurus was a medium-sized marine reptile, measuring about 10–13 feet (3–4 m) in length and weighed 180–330 lbs. Unlike the more advanced plesiosaurs and pliosaurs, it didn't have flippers, but four short legs with webbed feet, which were used as a method of locomotion underwater and on land - unlike the later marine reptiles, Nothosaurus was one of the select few Triassic reptiles that could live and move both on the land and in the sea. It had a streamlined and flexible body as well as a flat, eel-like tail.
This combination made it a great swimmer. Mainly situated underwater, it would only go onto land to rest or sunbathe, as well as to lay its eggs. Nothosaurus, like all sea reptiles, need to go up to the surface to breathe. When swimming, Nothosaurus would use its long tail, short legs, and webbed feet to propel and steer its way through the water.The head of Nothosaurus was large. This marine reptile was equipped with dozens of needle-sharp, interlocking teeth in a broad and flat skull. Its head was the perfect weapon to catch prey. Not only that, Nothosaurus hunted by sneaking up slowly on prey, such as shoals of fish, then accelerating at high speed at the last minute. With such a useful mouth design, not many animals could escape the Nothosaurus' jaws. Even though they could snap their jaws with tremendous force, the muscles used for opening its jaws were very weak, similar to the modern crocodiles.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Nothosaurus was a very curious marine reptile. They lived in pairs and would hunt together. If they encountered an unfamiliar creature, they would investigate it to determine if it was a threat or not. If the animal was small, chance are that the reptile would eat it. If larger, the Nothosaurus would either be curious or would flee.
Like the other marine reptiles that lived in its environment, Nothosaurus lacked gills and would have to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Once done, it could hold its breath for a very long time.
Despite being mainly aquatic, Nothosaurus would occasionally travel on land to either rest and bask or lay eggs, much like modern Sea Turtles do. The mother would drag herself onto land and would bury her eggs underneath the sand and would abandon them to their fate. But this was always a risk, as carnivorous dinosaurs use this as an opportunity to get an easy meal, especially the Nothosaurus hatchlings. Once hatched, the juveniles would scramble to the water while evading dinosaurian predators in the process.
- The sound effects of the Nothosaurus are that of crocodilian hisses as well as some seal roars, walrus sounds, and some large cat growls.