Viviparity and K-Selected Life History in a Mesozoic Marine Plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia)

  title={Viviparity and K-Selected Life History in a Mesozoic Marine Plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia)},
  author={F. O'keefe and L. Chiappe},
  pages={870 - 873}
  • F. O'keefe, L. Chiappe
  • Published 2011
  • Medicine, Biology
  • Science
  • Plesiosaurs gave birth to a single, live large offspring and may have engaged in maternal care. Viviparity is known in several clades of Mesozoic aquatic reptiles, but evidence for it is lacking in the Plesiosauria. Here, we report a Late Cretaceous plesiosaur fossil consisting of a fetus preserved within an adult of the same taxon. We interpret this occurrence as a gravid female and unborn young and hence as definitive evidence for plesiosaur viviparity. Quantitative analysis indicates that… CONTINUE READING

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