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Creature information
DietFish; other animals
Temporal rangeTriassic
235 to 215mya
Production information
TV appearancesSea Monsters: Dangerous Seas
Great long neck, great long tail, there's hardly any body at all!

Sea Monsters, Dangerous Seas

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.

Creature attributesEdit

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


Nigel swimming towards the Tanystropheus. (Dangerous Seas)

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.

In Sea MonstersEdit

Dangerous SeasEdit


The Tanystropheus swimming away without its tail. (Dangerous Seas)

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.

Image galleryEdit

Main article: Tanystropheus/Gallery

Behind the scenesEdit

There is no evidence that Tanystropheus could autotomize its tail.

List of appearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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