Fun Macroplata Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 30, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 23, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Macroplata facts are amusing to read!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Macroplata, better known as Macroplata tenuiceps is a large marine reptile species whose fossils were first discovered in the year 1930. These marine creatures belong to the Rhomaleosauridae family and the Plesiosauria order which consists of several marine reptiles that existed in the ancient Jurassic period.

This species is a rather poorly studied creature which has led to minimal information available on them. As a result of this lack of data, most of the information on the Macroplata is based on an estimation made by paleontologists. However, some data is based on concrete proofs that have come in the shape of fossilized remains like the several neck vertebrae. As of now, only two species are included in the genus Macroplata, which are the type species Macroplata tenuiceps and macroplata longirostris that later on became a new species.

These creatures are assumed to be predators of the highest order that once occurred in the dangerous prehistory water bodies and prey on small and large marine creatures.

If you like these facts about the Macroplata, check out the Darwinopterus and the Tapejara, here on Kidadl to discover more fun facts on these extinct animals.

Macroplata Interesting Facts

Was the Macroplata a dinosaur?

The Macroplata is an extinct genus of early Jurassic marine species that belonged to the Plesiosauria order of marine reptiles that consisted of various plesiosaurs. The classification of the Macroplata puts it in the same class and order as other Plesiosauria creatures.

How do you pronounce 'Macroplata'?

The Macroplata pronunciation is Mack-roe-plat-ah. The Macroplata classification terms this genus and species as a rhomaleosaurid pliosaur type species. The Macroplata skull in contrast is smaller than other well-known Plesiosauria species like the ‬Simolestes and Pliosaurus.

What type of marine reptile was a Macroplata?

The Macroplata type species belonged to the Plesiosauria group of marine reptiles that occurred throughout the early Jurassic to late Jurassic period. This group has many species of marine dinosaurs like the Kronosaurus, Pliosaurus, Meyerasaurus, and the Rhomaleosaurus, all of which are known for being able to move with a powerful forward stroke through the marine ecosystem.

New species of these plesiosaurs are still being discovered to this day!

In which geological period did the Macroplata live?

The extinct genus Macroplata dinosaurs are estimated to have lived from the Hettangian age which was the earliest stage of the Lower Jurassic period (between 199-201 million years ago) to the Sinemurian Age which was the second of the Lower Jurassic stage (between 190-199 million years ago during the Early Jurassic Period.)

When did the Macroplata become extinct?

Based on fossil evidence and researches on the Macroplata species, the exact time in history when these dinosaurs became extinct genus is unknown. However, based on several studies of plesiosaurs, it is estimated that this species became extinct by the end of the Cretaceous period about 66 million years ago.

Where did the Macroplata live?

The Macroplata is considered to be an aquatic species and roamed the large water bodies on Earth during the Lower Jurassic and Early Jurassic time periods.

What was a Macroplata's habitat?

Due to a lack of data, there is no detail about the specific types of habitats that this genus was known to occur in. The only known facts are that the genus Macroplata belonged to the marine creature family of Pliosaurs and the fast swimming Macroplata were known for their high maneuvering and traversing speed thanks to their powerful forward stroke movements.

Who did the Macroplata live with?

As of now, there is no specified data on the social construction of this genus of pliosaurs. Due to this lack of data, it cannot be stated if these pliosaurs were social or anti-social, or whether they lived in small or large groups or liked to spend their life in solitary, coming into contact with other pliosaurs only during the mating season.

How long did the Macroplata live?

The lifespan of the Macroplata genus is currently unknown. As a matter of fact, there is not much research based on the entire type species of the pliosaurs, making information regarding their lifespan unavailable.

How did they reproduce?

Due to a lack of research there is not enough data to specify any sort of information regarding the reproductive behavior of the Macroplata. Based on early research on the genus, it is estimated that the Macroplata gave live births. Excluding this information, there is no data regarding their breeding season, mating process, or gestation period.

Macroplata Fun Facts

What did the Macroplata look like?

Based on research on the specimen of this marine reptile it is assumed that the Macroplata had an elongated skull, this skull in contrast was smaller than other pliosaurs. The upper front jaw is estimated to house six teeth each that form the region at the front of the jaw. The structure is based on varying bones that came together to form the skull. The fast-swimming Macroplata used its large shoulder bones which played a part in the powerful forward stroke that this species used to move around. The front limbs are also estimated to be powerful and the mouth consisted of various needle-like teeth that helped them in preying on fish around them.

Information and facts about Macroplata are interesting!

How many bones did the Macroplata have?

The entire study of the Macroplata is based on one single specimen that was discovered by paleontologists because of which there is not much information available on the bone structure of this species.

However, estimations have been made based on the discovery of the fast-swimming Macroplata specimen, giving these creatures a bone structure that consists of 27 cervical vertebral columns, five pectoral, four sacral, 19 dorsal, and 30 caudal bones.

How did they communicate?

The communication method of the Macroplata is currently unknown due to a lack of any sort of evidential data.

How big were the Macroplata?

It is assumed that throughout their life, Macroplata grew to a maximum of 14.7 ft (4.5 m) in length. However, this is based on assumptions by researchers, and their true size is unknown as of now.

How fast could a Macroplata move?

Based on whatever content is available on the Macroplata, this creature is considered to be a fast-moving species thanks to the large shoulder bones that these creatures had which helped them in traversing through their marine ecosystem easily and this fast movement also helped them in catching their prey easily.

How much did the Macroplata weigh?

The Macroplata is a rather poorly studied marine species due to which information about this creature is scarce. The weight of the Macroplata is unknown as there is no evidence that can pinpoint their exact body mass due to which the weight can neither be presumed nor stated as a fact.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names that have been assigned to either sex of this species.

What would you call a baby Macroplata?

A baby Macroplata has no specific name assigned to it.

What did they eat?

The Macroplata is considered to be a marine creature and spent its entire life in the marine ecosystem. Their diet consisted of mainly marine creatures like fish.

How aggressive were they?

It is uncertain whether this animal was aggressive in nature or liked to live a peaceful life.

Did you know...

Contrary to popular belief the Macroplata is not a dinosaur, it is a marine reptile species that did co-exist with several dinosaur species throughout its existence.

The neck of these marine reptiles was double the size of their skull, in contrast, the neck of these creatures was long so that they could cut through heavy currents using these powerful necks.

Avalonnectes, a marine reptile species, is known to be the most complete fossil of a plesiosaur ever discovered!

Who discovered Macroplata?

Currently, it is uncertain who actually discovered the first Macroplata fossil. It is, however, known that the first fossil of the Macroplata was discovered in the year 1930.

How sharp were Macroplata’s teeth?

It is believed that the Macroplata had very sharp teeth that they used to hunt their prey. These teeth were robust and hard making it a tough task for the prey to get out of the clutches of this creature.

It is difficult to relate the Macroplata to an ancestor or predecessors even though the content is available for them. This lack of ancestral data is because of the complicated origins of the discovery of the Macroplata, which has caused a plethora of information on the creature to be based on estimations and assumptions.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Simolestes interesting facts, or Plesiopleurodon facts for kids.

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

Main image by The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Second image by Nobu Tamura

Macroplata Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Marine animals

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?


How Much Did They Weigh?


Skin Type


How Long Were They?

14.7 ft (4.5 m)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Macroplata tenuiceps

What Were Their Main Threats?

Larger marine dinosaurs, natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Marine ecosystems

Where Did They Live?

England - Blue Lias Formation
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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