for a plesiosaur, Leptocleidus occurs in lagoonal or shallow
marine inshore areas, though it may have frequented freshwater environments
such as lakes and rivers as well. It was a generalist predator,
capable of capturing active prey, or using twist feeding to tear
flesh from a large carcass.
(More info can be found at DinoWight
understand all the terminology? visit the Glossary)
somewhat resembles the Early Jurassic Rhomaleosaurus, with
large clavicles and interclavicle, and small, widely separated scapulae.
There are only 21 teeth on each side in the upper jaws, and probably
35 teeth in each lower jaw. The triangular skull has a distinctive
crest along the top, running from a forward-pointing ridge at the
back to a small odd-looking ridge over the nasal region. Leptocleidus
has, unlike early pliosauroids, single-headed cervical ribs and
a deep central depression in the centra of the neck vertebrae.
On the Isle
of Wight Leptocleidus is represented by an articulated vertebral
column with disarticulated chest elements, including both coracoids,
the interclavicles, a partial humerus and a probable scapula. If
rough comparison with the Leptocleidus superstes at the Natural
History Museum is accurate, the Islands specimen was
nearly 50% smaller, making it the smallest leptocleidid on record!
do I know if I've found a bone?