Discovered in the early 19th century, plesiosaurs quickly became a popular “prehistoric” sea creature. There are near 100 confirmed species of plesiosaurs known from the fossil record. They ranged from approx. 5 feet to the 46 foot Elasmosaur. From the U.S. to England, their remains are scattered across different regions of the globe. These highly specialized predators fed on fish, mollusks and a variety of sea-life. Some of the smaller species may have ventured on land, on rare occasions.
Currently believed to have gone extinct 65 million years ago during an event that devastated the dinosaurs, these animals have been assumed as casualties of the K-T extinction. Recently, some are questioning whether this is the correct explanation for their presumed absence. Is it possible that the global extinction event occurred in more recent times? And if so, could remnants of these magnificent reptiles have survived the turbulent after-effects and continued their elusive existence into the present?
From the ancient Greeks and Romans to Australia’s aborigines, legends and depictions of terrifying sea reptiles that bear a more than passing resemblance to ancient sea reptiles, have raised questions. What is a basis for these stories? Some would say that misidentifications of known animals can alone account. A few paleontologists assert that the ancients articulated fossils and created the lore on that basis. On account of the problems with these claims, some cryptozoologists feel justified in raising objections that form the foundation for the possible survival of these animals. If you are interested in the latter explanation, you will find a great deal of information here.