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© 2003 Nevada State Museum, Carson City
© 2003 Dave Gillette, Museum of Northern Arizona
What are Extinct Marine Reptiles? Many reptiles returned to the water at different times in the Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic, and they developed different features for this mode of life. Although their skeletons were modified to different degrees, many had paddle-like limbs, elongated necks and tails, and reduced or absent shoulder and hip bones. Of the numerous extinct marine reptiles, some of the more familiar include: ichthyosaurs, named for their resemblance to large fish; mosasaurs, relatives of snakes and lizards; and plesiosaurs, with their long limbs and necks and small heads. The first members of this group appear in the Triassic, and the last members went extinct in the Cretaceous.
First known fossil occurrence: Triassic.
Last known fossil occurrence: Cretaceous.
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