Fun Libonectes Facts For Kids

Monika Sharma
Jan 30, 2023 By Monika Sharma
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Libonectes facts are about this dinosaur that had a very long neck.

The Libonectes were massive marine reptiles that lived in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They lived during the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco of the Late Cretaceous.

Because there are only a few bones attributed to the Libonectes today, paleontologists have had a difficult time deducing information about its size, feeding habits, and reproductive functions. The majority of the information about the Libonectes is derived from data on other elasmosaurids.

However, its skull was discovered in pristine condition and has been used to draw information about other elasmosaurid skulls. It is believed they were a kind of North American dinosaur genus of plesiosaur order.

The skull of this Plesiosauria reptilia is also known to be recovered from Texas. Although, very little is known about this North American Sauropterygia specimen genus.

Since their discovery, marine biologists have been fascinated by evolution which has led to a major classification in their anatomy. Their skeleton remains can be compared to the new holotype of the elasmosaur.

To learn more about such interesting creatures make sure to check out our articles on Liopleurodon and Trinacromerum.

Libonectes Interesting Facts

Was the Libonectes a dinosaur?

Libonectes were marine reptiles belonging to the Plesiosauria order, an extinct genus of Sauropterygia reptiles.

How do you pronounce 'Libonectes'?

It's very easy to pronounce this marine reptile from Texas. In order to pronounce these reptilia from plesiosaur order, follow this simple guide 'LIBO-nects'.

What type of marine reptile was a Libonectes?

The Libonectes was a large marine reptile that lived during the Cretaceous period. It grew to be about 32-43 ft (10-13 m) tall as an adult, according to Welles and based on data from other dinosaurs belonging to the Plesiosaur clade.

These marine reptiles were initially classified as a subspecies of the Elasmosaurus family. Various descriptions by the media and research about other elasmosaurs supports this idea.

In which geological period did the Libonectes live?

The existence of the Libonectes is estimated to have occurred between 90-80 million years ago. This corresponds to the Cretaceous period's Turonian and Campanian ages. Research on their fossils and distribution by Welles also points towards the same information.

When did the Libonectes become extinct?

Libonectes are believed to go extinct around 93.5 - 89.3 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period. The Cenomanian-Turonian axenic event wiped out the majority of marine fauna during this time period.

This phenomenon is thought to have occurred as a result of increased oceanic volcanic activity. During the course of this event, most plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and spinosaurus dinosuars were wiped out. Paleontologists believe that this cataclysmic event caused the extinction of the Libonectes.

Where did a Libonectes live?

The Libonectes was a massive marine reptile that was found in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as believed by Welles. These marine plesiosaurs are also related to several other dinosaur classes.

What was a Libonectes's habitat?

The dental layout of the Libonectes suggests a carnivorous lifestyle, however, the presence of gastroliths inside some known fossils of the Elasmosaurus suggests an omnivorous lifestyle. The presence of these gastroliths could also indicate that the Libonectes swallowed whole prey items, helping their classification.

The Libonectes most likely hunted in deep waters, possibly eating small fish and ammonites because its size prevented it from frequenting shallow waters.

Who did the Libonectes live with?

Cooperative hunting is a possibility if these animals moved in groups, or happened to be in groups, because even animals that don't live together will cooperate in a herd to cluster prey. Their fossil and neck indicate that they are related to current-day animals such as common dolphins and spinner dolphins.

How long did a Libonectes live?

Elasmosaurus dinosaurs could live for 10-12 years according to research conducted on its fossil by Buchy. It is predicted that the Libonectes could have had a similar lifespan.

How did they reproduce?

These reptiles belonging to the plesiosaur clade laid eggs. This is the only known information about this elasmosaur.

Libonectes Fun Facts

What did a Libonectes look like?

This Plesiosauria had a long tail a very long neck. This is the same for other fossils of plesiosaurs marine reptiles. They had four flaps and neural spines.

The fossils of this marine dinosaur show that they were very large in size.

How many bones did a Libonectes have?

Because Libonectes fossils were previously classified under the genus Elasmosarus, it can be assumed that the two species were related. The number of bones is not known.

How did they communicate?

Libonectes dinosaurs possibly communicated over long distances by using noisy displays at the water's surface. These could have been aggressive signals, territorial signals, or courtship signals.

How big was a Libonectes?

The Libonectes dinosaur was a large marine reptile that lived during the Cretaceous period. It grew to be about 360-420 in (914- 1066 cm) tall as an adult. This Elasmosaur was around the same size as a whale shark and bowhead whale in today's world.

How fast could a Libonectes move?

This Plesiosauria had a good support system in form of peddles, helping this marine creature swim fast.

How much did a Libonectes weigh?

Based on data from other plesiosaurs, its weight is estimated to have been between 2000-4000 lb (907- 1814 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Research on the fossils of plesiosaurs indicates that both the male and female dinosaurs had the same anatomy. This means they are called the same names.

What would you call a baby Libonectes?

A baby Libonectes can be called a nestling or a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Libonectes dinosaurs most likely hunted in deep waters, possibly eating small fish and ammonites, because their size prevented them from frequenting shallow waters. Gastroliths also suggest that the Libonectes swallowed its prey whole rather than tearing it apart. If its neck was truly rigid, ripping chunks from its catch would have been extremely difficult.

The Libonectes was a slow swimmer that used its size to catch its prey. The teeth of the Libonectes were sharp and well-spaced. These were ideal for mollusk crushing and cephalopod capture.

How aggressive were they?

Plesiosaurs may have formed social bonds but they may also have been aggressive, with some species acting aggressively toward conspecifics. There are a few large plesiosaur specimens with snout tips and flippers that appear to have been bitten by other, similar-sized plesiosaurs, so we may have direct evidence for this type of behavior.

Did you know...

Samuel Paul Welles was a vertebrate paleontologist from the United States. He helped to define the theropod dinosaur, Dilophosaurus. Carpenter K is a modern-day paleontologist from the United States. He is credited with coining the term 'Gojirasaurus'. He is the reason why we know so much about the fossils of this marine reptile from Texas.

The specific climate of these dinosaurs requires more research. There is not enough data to show whether it was endemic or not to a specific region.

How many fossils of the Libonectes are known?

Libonectes was an elasmosaurid plesiosaur with numerous specimens discovered in southern North America. It was discovered in the Britton Formation of Texas, USA, in the lower Turonian stage of the Late Cretaceous period from a single fossil specimen.

The second specimen was found in the Akrabou Formation of Morocco. A 29 in (73.6 cm) long fossil Plesiosaur paddle from the Upper Cretaceous (Early Turonian Stage) was found in deposits near Goulmima, Morocco.

The skull and neck, as well as gastroliths discovered with the fossil, make up the specimen.

A pectoral girdle and flipper were also discovered, but they had been abandoned at some time. The neck vertebrae had a different structure because the amphicoelous anterior cervical vertebrae had taller neural spines and longer bone supporting processes, and its nostrils were slightly closer to the tip of the skull.

What do you mean by Libonectes?

'Libo' is derived from the Greek, meaning 'southern', and 'Nectes' is also a Greek word, meaning 'swimmer'. The meaning of Libonectes is 'southern swimmer'.

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 Piatnitzkysaurus fun facts and Gallimimus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura

Second image by Hyrotrioskjan

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Written by Monika Sharma

Bachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

Monika Sharma picture

Monika SharmaBachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

With a passion for crafting engaging and informative content, Monika brings a wealth of writing experience to our team. Her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunications from Symbiosis Institute Of Technology adds a unique perspective to her work, allowing her to effectively communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Over the past two years, Monika has perfected her writing skills through her roles as a content writer, content manager, and digital marketer for reputable companies in both the USA and India. This hands-on experience has provided her with a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, ensuring that the content she produces is always of the highest quality. She stays current with the latest field developments,continuously refining her skills to deliver exceptional content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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