|“||Great long neck, great long tail, there's hardly any body at all!||”|
Tanystropheus was a large marine reptile (a member of the prolacertid family) from the Triassic. Its most striking feature was its almost-impossibly long neck and tail that almost defied the laws of physics.
Physical appearance and biologyEdit
Tanystropheus was a medium-sized, quadrupedal marine reptile. It had a small body with short legs. Most of its body comprised of its insanely long neck and tail. On the tip of its neck was a relatively small head with jaws lined with sharp teeth used to grip onto slippery fish.
The neck of Tanystropheus was light blue whilst its body was green. Its tail had black and white stripes.
Behaviour and traitsEdit
In Sea Monsters, Tanystropheus was depicted as a solitary underwater hunter. It used its incredibly long neck to probe into fish shoals and catch prey. However, despite this useful technique, its long neck prohibited it from being a good swimmer.
The tail of Tanystropheus was long and acted like that of modern lizards. If a predator caught it by the tail, the Tanystropheus can voluntarily drop its tail to create a diversion as it escapes. This was also useful for the predators as the tail could serve as a decent meal.
After encountering a pair of Nothosaurus, Nigel Marven found a Tanystropheus dwelling within some coral. As Nigel swam close to the animal, he grabbed onto its tail. Initiating its survival mechanism, the Tanystropheus dropped its tail and swam off.
The spasming, disembodied tail was suddenly snatched off of Nigel by a Cymbospondylus.
Behind the scenesEdit
There is no evidence that Tanystropheus could autotomize its tail, as it is only distantly related to the modern lizards that can.
Tanystropheus is depecited as a primarily aquatic animal, while most paleontologists now believe that it was mostly terestrial, sitting on the coast and using its long neck to catch fish from afar.
List of appearancesEdit
- Sea Monsters
- Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Predators of the Deep
- Sea Monsters Adventure Game
- The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life