Fun Futabasaurus Facts For Kids

Ayan Banerjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Sep 29, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Futabasaurus facts include that they lived on the planet during the Late Cretaceous period.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Do you know dinosaurs also existed underwater? Well, here we will learn about a water dinosaur, that was found in the depths of the ocean in South-east Asia, with the name Futabasaurus.

Futabasaurus suzukii is a genus of plesiosaur and belongs to the family of Elasmosaurid. They roamed the Earth in the Late Cretaceous period, almost 66 million years ago.

The fossils of this species were discovered in 1968, by a Japanese school student, Tadashi Suzuki in the Futaba group of Fukushima, Japan. They were originally named, Futaba-ryu, but later in 2006, they were described and renamed Futabasaurus meaning 'Futaba lizard'.

From the scientific paper reports on the skeleton by Sato, Hasegawa, and Manabe, we get to know that this species had a flat body, paddled feet, small tail, and skull, and a long neck.

As they were piscivores, their diet was consisted of school of fishes, and were also bottom feeders using their long necks. They had a peaceful nature and would search for food in small groups.

There is no detailed information about their reproduction but they were viviparous, meaning they gave birth to young offspring. They were hunted by killer sharks, one of the main reasons for their extinction.

For more relatable content, check out these Sauropelta facts and Harpactognathus facts for kids.

Futabasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Futabasaurus'?

To pronounce the word Futabasaurus, the phonetic pronunciation is 'foo-tah-bah-sore-rus', breaking the big word into five small words.

What type of dinosaur was a Futabasaurus?

The Futabasaurus was a plesiosaur belonging to the kingdom Animalia, class Reptilia, superorder Sauropterygia, and the family of Elasmosaurid. They were water dinosaurs.

In which geological period did the Futabasaurus roam the Earth?

Futabasaurus dinosaurs roamed the Earth almost 100.5 million years ago to 66 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period. At present this species is extinct. Many believe that pre-historic large sharks preyed on these dinosaurs, which might have been a key reason for them becoming extinct.

When did the Futabasaurus become extinct?

The Futabasaurus genus of plesiosaurs became extinct at the end of the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 66 million years ago. It is believed that a celestial body crashed on the Earth's surface, which created great ecological disturbance causing all dinosaur species to become extinct from the planet. The fossils specimen of Futabasaurus shows proof of predation by sharks.

Where did a Futabasaurus live?

Since the fossils of the Futabasaurus plesiosaur were from the Late Cretaceous period and were found in the Futaba group of Fukushima, Japan, we can assume that F. suzukii dinosaurs lived in the oceans of eastern Asia.

What was a Futabasaurus's habitat?

A Futabasaurus prehistoric wildlife habitat includes temperate waters. They lived in the Asian oceans and in the scientific papers of Sato and Hasegawa, it is predicted these dinosaurs lived in underwater environments.

Who did a Futabasaurus live with?

The Futabasaurus belonged to the family of Elasmosaurid and they lived with other plesiosaurs like Hydrotherosaurus, Thalassomedon, Tuarangisaurus, Libonectes, Callawayasaurus, and Eromangasaurus.

How long did a Futabasaurus live?

There are no reports describing the lifespan of a Futabasaurus. They went extinct 66 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Small plesiosaurs moved to the sea-shores and laid their eggs on beaches. They had strong and flat limbs making that easy.

However this big-sized plesiosaur (F suzukii) was viviparous and it traveled long distances in search of breeding grounds and for mating. The female Futabasaurus developed embryos within her body and gave birth to live young offspring. They would take care of them until the babies were mature and strong.

Futabasaurus Fun Facts

What did a Futabasaurus look like?

The Futabasaurus dinosaur neck was exceptionally long, like most large-sized plesiosaur in the family of Elasmosaurid. They had longer upper arm and slim thigh bones, flat body, small tail, and their feet were like paddles which can be described from their fossils.

They had a long-distance between the nostrils and eye sockets but a small skull, the femora were thin, the humerus was relatively long, bent at the anterior edge, and connected by interclavicles and clavicles.

They had long, slender jaws, with over 30-40 sharp teeth in each jaw. These features made this species different from other Elasmosaurids, as reported by the Sato and Hasegawa papers.

Futabasaurus facts include that they have longer upper arm, slim thigh bones, flat body, and paddled feet.

How many bones did a have?

From the skeleton specimen found in Japan, there is no record of the number of bones the Futabasaurus had.

How did they communicate?

There is no proper information about how the Futabasaurus communicated, but some evidence says that they communicated using ultrasonic sounds that created vibrations underwater and alerted the others in the group.

How big was a Futabasaurus?

A mature Futabasaurus was a large-sized plesiosaur and its length was estimated at 21-30 ft (6.4-9.1 m). They were as long as modern-day killer sharks. Their offsprings were also large-sized after birth. The young offspring was 5 ft (1.5 m) long.

How fast could a Futabasaurus move?

Although, Futabasaurus suzukii were swimming dinosaurs, they were preyed on by sharks. It is predicted that they were not quick swimmers underwater.

How much did a Futabasaurus weigh?

A grown up Futabasaurus weighed approximately 6613.9- 8818.5 lb (3,000-4,000 kg). They weighed less when compared to the great white shark.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to the male and female dinosaurs of the Futabasauras species. Although, the dinosaur sex classification states that males are saurus and females as saura.

What would you call a baby Futabasaurus?

There is no name assigned to the newly born offspring of the Futabasaurus. The young offspring was 1.5 m (5 ft) in length after they were born.

What did they eat?

The Futabasaurus plesiosaur was a carnivore. They had long necks and they used stalking techniques to approach their prey silently from behind and hunt it by surprise.

They mostly had a diet of fish and hunted schools of fishes, including bony fish and were also considered bottom feeders, like softshell turtles as they had strong teeth.

They used their long necks to create a disturbance among the school of fishes or to search for food in the depths of the ocean.

They had thin but sharp 30-40 teeth in each jaw helping them to catch their prey without cutting it. They were not used to catching large fishes as they had small heads and also their movement underwater was slow, compared to that of sharks.

How aggressive were they?

Futabasaurus dinosaurs were considered social dinosaurs, as they would search for food in small packs. There is no evidence of any aggressive nature of this species, but the specimens described predation by sharks, which also might be a reason for the Futabasaurus becoming extinct.

Did you know...

The Futabasaurus played a role in an amine show called 'The Dinosaur King' with the name dinosaur king Futabasaurus. It was the only dinosaur that was given the powers of a dinosaur card (a power source in anime).

It was first introduced in the scene of Carnival of Chaos, in which the Futabasaurus returned to its card at the same moment when its competitor Saltasaurus stood next to its battle arena.

The name Futabasaurus has an unrelated relation with theropod dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous period and also the fossils discovered in Japan. However, this species of dinosaur was officially named 'nomen nudum'.

They used to rest their flat body deep in the ocean and search for food using their long necks.

What do you mean by Futabasaurus?

The name 'Futabasaurus' is a Greek word. The word 'Futaba' means 'sprout' in Japanese and 'saurus' means 'lizard' in Greek, together it becomes 'Futaba lizard'. The dinosaur's name was originally known as 'Futaba-ryu'. The fossils of the genus Futabasaurus were from the Late Cretaceous period and were discovered at the Futaba group of Fukushima, Japan.

When and how was Futabasaurus described?

Futabasaurus dinosaur fossils were discovered in 1968 by a Japanese high school student, Tadashi Suzuki, along a riverside, in the Futaba group of Fukushima prefecture, Japan. The specimen was later described as Elasmosaurid in 2006 by the scientific papers of Sato, Hasegawa, and Manabe, and was considered in the superorder Sauropterygia.

The genus Futabasaurus was named after the Futaba group, the place where it was discovered.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Telmatosaurus interesting facts and Prosaurolophus surprising facts pages.

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

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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