Kimmerosaurus Brown, 1981
Kimmerosaurus is a poorly known cryptoclididplesiosaur known only from skull and neck material (Brown, 1981; Brown et. al. 1986). It differs from other plesiosaurs in the large number of needle-like teeth in its jaws, and in the form of the teeth, which are completely smooth and lack the longitidinal ridges present in other plesiosaurs. Brown et. al. (1986) compared the cervical vertebrae of a referred specimen of Kimmerosaurus with those of the contemporaneous Colymbosaurus. They noted the close similarity in morphology and proportions of the material and suggested that Kimmerosaurus, known only from skull and neck material, and Colymbosaurus, known only from postcranial material, may be the same animal. Based on comparison with Colymbosaurus, an adult Kimmerosaurus was in the region of 6.6m long. Kimmerosaurus is known from only one species, K. langhami. The species name honours R. Langham who found the holotype specimen.
Kimmerosaurus comes from the upper part of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation, which is Tithonian in age, only the lower parts of the clay are actually Kimmeridgian in age. Recent plesiosaur discoveries from Svalbard have been tentatively referred to Kimmerosaurus. However, these are currently under study. Based on the discoveries from Svalbard, Kimmerosaurus was featured in the BBC documentary Planet Dinosaur alongside the mysterious pliosaur Predator X.(See my review of the episode here)
K. langhami Brown, 1981
Type specimen: BMNH R.8431, partial skull.
Referred material: BMNH R. 1798; R.10042
Age and Location
Upper part of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Tithonian, only the lower parts of the clay are actually Kimmeridgian). Endcome Bay, Dorset, UK.