Temporal range: Late Cretaceous to Late Holocene, 89.3-0 Ma

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Model of Scanisaurus in a swampy area.

Scientific classification


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Plesiosauria
Suborder: Plesiosauroidea

Cimoliasauridae Persson, 1960


Scanisaurus Persson, 1996


S. Nazarowi Persson, 1996

Scanisaurus meaning "Scania (Sweden) lizard", is a genus of plesiosaur. Person 1996 has classified Scanisaurus in the Cimoliasauridae, as a mesodiran plesiosaur, with a larger head and relatively shorter neck than in dolichodiran (long-necked) plesiosaurs. Scanisaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous (Senonian) of Sweden. It is considered nomen dubium.

Discovery and namingEdit

Scanisaurus was discovered by Swedish paleontologist Per-Ove Persson in Senonian (Late Cretaceous) rocks in Skåne,Sweden.


Scanisaurus lived in an inland sea, the Kristianstad basin in Skåne, southern Sweden. It is today known as Kristianstad. It probably lived on fish, and it might have been competing or sometimes being hunted by mosasaurs. The animals might have sometimes got up on land to bask in the sun.

Recent survivorsEdit

During the Viking Age there were tales of sea dragons and sea serpents attacking Viking ships, lying on beaches and dwelling in caves. These legendary monsters closely match the descriptions of plesiosaurs and pliosaurs.

In the Great Lake (Storsjön) in Jämtland, Sweden, there are reports of a creature called the Great Lake Monster (Storsjöodjuret) which has many times been reported to have a large body with a long neck, the head of a horse, dog, snake or lizard, and with scaly skin. Some refer to it as a "water living dinosaur" or "dinosaur-like creature". This is also a good description of plesiosaurs, but this is not the only known lake monster in Nordic countries.


External linksEdit

  • [2] The Paleobiology Database, P. O. Persson 1960
  • [3] GeoWhen Database, Senonian European Epoch