Fun Dolichorhynchops Facts For Kids

Anamika Balouria
Oct 20, 2022 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Sep 30, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read these Dolichorhynchops facts to learn about these marine reptiles with a long-nosed snout.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The Dolichorhynchops is a dinosaur species whose fossils date back to the Late Cretaceous period of North America. They were under the order of Plesiosauria and are called a plesiosaur marine reptile from the prehistoric period. This marine reptile species had a long-snouted face, despite which, the genus name Dolichorhynchops means 'long-nosed eye'.

The type species of the genus is Dolichorhynchops osborni S.W. Williston in 1902. Charles H. Sternberg sold the species to the University of Kansas.

The species is thought to have three other species: D. bonneri, D. tropicensis, and D. herschelensis. The last species, D. herschelensis, is still under research to determine whether it existed or not.

They are also referred to as the name Dolly, which is only known to paleontologists. These marine reptiles were closely related to the long-necked Plesiosaurus, though they themselves were short-necked in comparison to other species of the same order.

It is strongly believed that this species gave birth to their young once in the open water and must have protected them living in a group. These plesiosaurs did not have strong bites because of their weak jaws with 40-60 small pointed sharp teeth.

The well-known Dolichorhynchops predators from Kansas are the mosasaur named Tylosaurus by Sternberg and a long fish named Xiphactinus from the Western Interior Seaway. The juvenile Dolichorhynchops fossil remains were discovered in the historical research of predator fossils.

Learn some interesting fun facts about other species such as Squalodon and Dakosaurus.

Dolichorhynchops Interesting Facts

Was the Dolichorhynchops a dinosaur?

No, the Dolichorhynchops was not a dinosaur and was categorized in the category of marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous period in North America. They were short-necked marine animals, unlike most of other plesiosaurs.

How do you pronounce 'Dolichorhynchops'?

The pronunciation for the word Dolichorhynchops is 'Dol-lee-kor-rin-chops'.

What type of prehistoric animal was a Dolichorhynchops?

The Dolichorhynchops osborni was a prehistoric marine animal classified as a plesiosaur, and scientists discovered that these sea reptiles had weaker jaws than the mosasaur Tylosaurus after conducting extensive research with skull fossils. According to the complete scientific history of the fossils, this long-snout reptile was classified among the class Reptilia, the order Plesiosauria, and the family Polycotylidae.

The type species of the genus Dolichorhynchops was Dolichorhynchops osborni, which was described by S.W. Williston. The species were sold to the University of Kansas by Charles H. Sternberg.

In which geological period did the Dolichorhynchops live?

The Dolichorhynchops specimens were dated back to the Late Cretaceous period, from the Turonian to the Campanian age, 93.9 million years ago to 89.8 million years ago.

When did the Dolichorhynchops become extinct?

The Dolichorhynchops became extinct by the end of the Late Cretaceous period, 93.9 million years ago to 89.8 million years ago.

Where did a Dolichorhynchops live?

The Dolichorhynchops lived in Kansas, the Western Interior Seaway, and other regions of North America where the majority of prehistoric marine reptiles lived.

The fossils were recovered from the Smoky Hill Chalk of the Campanian age, but in 2005, with the species fossil specimens, it was discovered that the earliest complete remains were discovered in the Fort Hays Limestone, Niobrara Formation in Jewell County, Kansas.

The aquatic Dolichorhynchops wildlife was very much similar to the wildlife of Tylosaurus.

What was a Dolichorhynchops' habitat?

The range of this marine animal was within the Kansas and Western Interior Seaways of North America. They were believed to be open-water sea creatures who shared their habitat with carnivores like Tylosaurus and the long fish named Xiphactinus.

They must have avoided living near lagoons or coral reefs. They lived in the shallow deep-sea range to explore their prey and feed on them along the seabed.

Who did a Dolichorhynchops live with?

It is unknown, according to the history of paleontology science, whether this species lived in groups or in solitude. However, as they were open water sea creatures, they must have lived in groups to defend themselves from these carnivores and even to protect their young ones from them.

The group size must have varied as strong evidence is not available.

How long did a Dolichorhynchops live?

From the research history of their fossils, it is known that this species lived in the Late Cretaceous period. They lived from the Turonian to the Campanian age between 93.9-89.8 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

There is not much information available about their reproduction. The only strong evidence about them giving birth to their offspring is known because of stomach fossils of Tylosaurus sea animals. If they lived in a group, then the offspring must have been protected by the adults of the group.

Dolichorhynchops Fun Facts

What did a Dolichorhynchops look like?

Dolichorhynchops fossils of the skull and lower jaws were very much like the Trinacromerum. The Trinacromerum bonneri was the fastest pliosaur in the same habitat as these marine reptiles.

The Dolichorhynchops had a soft skin body with a long snout face and 40-60 sharp teeth on both lower and upper jaws, which were evidently weaker from their skull fossil. The soft skin of these animals would have easily been predated by their enemies.

The size of the teeth was small in comparison to other sea cannibal animals. They had four limbs, like fins, which would have helped them to swim in the deep sea.

The Dolichorhynchops had soft body skin with a short tail-like fin.
We've been unable to source an image of Dolichorhynchops and have used an image of Tylosaurus proriger instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Dolichorhynchops, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did a Dolichorhynchops have?

The exact number of bones in the remains of these marine animals is unknown, and only 20 neck cervical vertebrae were found in the neck of this species.

How did they communicate?

Not much is known about their communication, but on a general basis, they must have communicated by using their tactile cues, vocal cues, and chemical cues.

How big was a Dolichorhynchops?

The Dolichorhynchops size was 10-17 ft (3-5 m) long in length.

How fast could a Dolichorhynchops move?

The swimming speed of these marine reptiles is unknown.

How much did a Dolichorhynchops weigh?

The weight of this species was 300 lb (136 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dinosaurs of this species did not have any specific names and were known by their common names. 

What would you call a baby Dolichorhynchops?

The babies of Dolichorhynchops were known as hatchlings or juveniles.

What did they eat?

The Dolichorhynchops was a carnivorous species that lived in the open deep sea where they searched for their prey such as snails, small fish, worms, crabs, and turtles. They themselves must also have been prey to the Western Interior Seaway marine animals such as Tylosaurus and the aquatic long fish named Xiphactinus.

How aggressive were they?

The behavior science of these marine reptiles is unknown. They lived in the open deep sea, so they must have had to dwell with the carnivores that lived in this habitat.

General assumptions can be made that they must have been aggressive to defend themselves, as well as, their young ones from predator animals. They often must have been prey because of their soft skin, especially the juveniles.

Did you know...

D. herschelensis is believed to have been discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Bearpaw Formation of Canada. National Geographic has also featured them along with prehistoric sea monsters.

Why is it called the Dolichorhynchops?

The genus name Dolichorhynchops means 'long-nosed eye', which refers to their body type that has a long snout and eyes that are far from the nose. This is why they have been given this name.

How many specimens of Dolichorhynchops were discovered?

D. bonneri, D. tropicensis, and D. herschelensis are thought to be related species. The last species, D. herschelensis, is still being studied to determine whether or not it existed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Eryops facts or Arizonasaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Dolichorhynchops coloring pages.

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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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