Species in News: Tanystropheus


  • A recent study has unveiled fresh details surrounding the Tanystropheus, a reptile that lived on Earth some 242 million years ago and had a remarkably elongated neck – longer than its body and tail combined.

Key Details

  • Tanystropheus are believed to have lived around the Monte San Giorgio basin on the Swiss-Italian border during the middle Triassic period (247-237 million years ago), and were originally mistaken to be a kind of Pterosaur – a flying reptile.
  • Apart from establishing the fact that Tanystropheus were water-dwelling, scientists after studying the smaller specimen (called Tanystropheus longobardicus) came to the conclusion that it was not a juvenile, but a fully adult creature of a different species of the Tanystropheus.
  • Tanystropheus was a “ram-feeder”, its long neck allowing it to approach unknowing prey and then use its fang-like teeth to directly snap a bit off its prey.
  • However, both the species were neither fast nor efficient swimmers.

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