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sauropterygian

[saw-rop-tuh-rij-ee-uh n] /sɔˌrɒp təˈrɪdʒ i ən/
noun
1.
any of various Mesozoic marine reptiles of the superorder Sauropterygia, including the suborder Plesiosauria.
adjective
2.
of or relating to a sauropterygian.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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sauropterygian in Science
sauropterygian
  (sô-rŏp'tə-rĭj'ē-ən)   
Any of various extinct aquatic reptiles of the group Sauropterygia of the Mesozoic Era. Sauropterygians were carnivorous, had paddlelike limbs, and included the plesiosaurs. They were distantly related to the dinosaurs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for sauropterygian

any of the aquatic reptiles found as fossils from the Mesozoic Era (251 million to 66 million years ago). Sauropterygians include the nothosaurs, the pistosaurs, and the plesiosaurs, all of which were remarkably well adapted to life in the water.

Learn more about sauropterygian with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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