Fun Thililua Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Jul 27, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Apr 18, 2022
Thililua facts talk about Thililua fossil remains that were unearthed.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.0 Min

The Thililua, a marine reptile from the late Cretaceous period was a plesiosaur that continues to be a mystery due to the limited information discovered from their fossils. In fact, the fossil plesiosaur shows similarities to aquatic dinosaurs, but in reality, the Thililua is not in a dinosaur.

The carnivore of the late cretaceous period was the very first plesiosaur to be found in Africa when paleontologists discovered the fossils of what is considered to be an adult Thililua longicollis.

Thililua Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Thililua'?

Thililua is pronounced as 'Thi-lih-loo-ah'.

What type of dinosaur was a Thililua?

Thililua has not entirely been classified as a dinosaur. It was a marine reptile.

In which geological period was the Thililua on the earth?

The Thililua fossils indicate that they roamed the Earth during the Later Cretaceous period. This period also overlapped with the early Turonian period. The Turonian period belonged to the latter part of the Cretaceous period or Cretaceous Epoch. The late Cretaceous period is actually the younger of the two epochs into which the Cretaceous period is divided.

When did the Thililua become extinct?

Although it is unclear when the Thililua disappeared from the face of the Earth, some indications suggest that they became extinct during the Turonian period abruptly. This is because plesiosaur had become extinct due to the Cretaceous-Palaeogene event of extinction. This would make it likely that they became extinct about 65 million years ago.

Where did a Thililua live?

The Thililua fossils were discovered in the subtropical latitudes of North Africa. Specifically, they were found in Moroccan High Atlas Mountains.

What was a Thililua‘s habitat?

A Thililua, being a marine reptile, is said to have thrived underwater.

Who did a Thililua live with?

The is not enough information to determine whether the Thililua lived in packs. However, being polycotylid plesiosaur, it might be possible that they were friendly with other marine reptiles. Considering that their friendliness was more towards their own relatives and friends, the possibility of them swimming around in packs cannot be denied.

How long did a Thililua live?

The accurate life cycle of the Thililua has not yet been determined.

How did they reproduce?

Although the manner in which the Thililua reproduced has not been explained, they were viviparous in nature. This indicates that they nurtured and developed their offspring inside their body for a period of gestation before they gave birth to live offspring. They did not lay eggs.

Thililua Fun Facts

What did a Thililua look like?

The Thililua longicollis bear resemblance to the general appearance of plesiosaurs. However, one of the most distinctive traits of the marine reptile is its long neck which led to the species of the late cretaceous period being named Thililua longicollis.

Thililua illustrations might not do complete justice to their real-life version, owing to the limited information that has been accurately established about them.

How many bones did a Thililua have?

It was found through a Thililua fossil, which was said to almost completely represent their skeletal structure, that the Thililua contained at least 37 vertebrae. Their skeleton also consisted of a complete skull and a lower jaw.

In fact, this number indicated that the Thililua was a plesiosaur that consisted of more than the average number of bones in their body, although the exact number is unclear. The dinosaur specimen extracted also consisted of four dorsal vertebrae along with the entire pectoral series and cervical series.

They were also supposedly characterized by longer jaws. The Thililua longicollis specimen, therefore, gave a good idea about the genus but did not determine it fully.

How did they communicate?

Plesiosaurs were considered to be social dinosaurs, but Thililua's method of communication with other aquatic species continues to be a mystery. Since it is not entirely a dinosaur, it is possible that the Thililua had social patterns that remain a mystery.

How big was a Thililua?

The accurate size of a Thililua could not be gauged from its fossils. However, using comparative methods, it was determined that the Thililua came at a length of 20 ft (6 m). They were the same size as the land animal Rayososaurus.

How fast could a Thililua swim?

Since a Thililua was a polycotylid plesiosaur, their speed underwater may be assumed to be high. This is because polycotylids have been said to have very fast swimming capacities and there is no evidence that suggests that the Thililua does not have this characteristic.

How much did a Thililua weigh?

The fossil that had been studied did not reveal what an average Thililua might have weighed.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There have not been any specific distinctions made in the name of the Thililua based on their sex.

What would you call a baby Thililua?

Baby Thililua fossils have not supposedly been unearthed to date, and they have not been assigned any name different from an adult Thililua.

What did they eat?

The Thililua was a carnivorous marine reptile, not unliked polycotylid plesiosaur in general.

How aggressive were they?

Being a plesiosaur, the Thililua might have had similar behavioral characteristics. Therefore, it is likely that like any plesiosaur, they would be friendly in general, but could also prove to be aggressive when triggered by other aquatic animals. It is said that especially when it came to known friends and their own relatives, plesiosaurs were usually friendly in nature.

Did You Know...

The Thililua was named after an ancient aquatic god in the region where it was found. This makes for some of the most famous Thililua facts. The indigenous group of North Africa known as Berbers worshipped an ancient aquatic god by the same name, which led to the polycotylid plesiosaur being called the Thililua.

The Thililua is a genus that contains only one species called Thililua longicollis, as per the records to date. The fossil that had been discovered, on the basis of which several Thililua illustrations were later developed, is said to have been of an adult Thililua longicollis.

The Thililua is considered to be a sister taxon to Nichollssaura which was a leptocleidid plesiosaur that lived in the Boreal Sea of North America.

*We've been unable to source an image of Thililua and have used an image of Deinonychus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Thililua, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

*We've been unable to source an image of Thililua and have used an image of Lesothosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Thililua, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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