Elasmosaurians, a genus of gigantic marine saurians, of the cretaceous epoch, whose remains have been found especially in New Jersey. These, with the huge mosasaurus, the pythonomorphs of Prof. Cope, were the sea-serpents of the close of the mesozoic age. They seem to have combined the features of serpents, lizards, and plesiosaurians, and to have resembled the varanidoe of the tropics of the old world more than any other living type. The elasmosaurus, with the allied cimoliasaurus, both found in New Jersey but not elsewhere in America, and in England, were reptilian whales; the latter genus resembled the plesio-saurus, while the former had an enormously long and flattened tail; in both, the zygapo-physes or processes connecting the vertebral arches, are very oblique, with their articular faces turned opposite to that which prevails among vertebrates generally. The E. platyu-ras had vertebras nearly as large as those of an elephant; the bulk was whale-like, the neck long and flexible, the paddles short, and the tail serpent-like; skull light, with long, narrow, and flat muzzle; nostrils or spout holes near the orbits; teeth long, cylindrical, very sharp, and fitted for seizing the fish upon which it fed.
It attained a length of 45 feet, and might well furnish a model for the modern sea serpent, which in the light of geology is not a zoological impossibility.
Restoration of an Elasmosaurian.