The feet were paddle-like, and are known to have been webbed in life, to help power the animal when swimming
Attributes & EvidenceEdit
With its webbed front and back feet, flexible knees and ankles, and long neck and tapered body--not to mention its numerous teeth--Nothosaurus must have been a formidable marine reptile of the Triassic period.
Because it bears a superficial resemblance to modern seals, paleontologists speculate that Nothosaurus may have spent some of its time on land; it's clear that this creature breathed air, as evidenced by the two nostrils on the top end of its snout, and although it was undoubtedly a sleek swimmer, it wasn't as well adapted to a full-time aquatic lifestyle as later pliosaurs and plesiosaurs like Cryptoclidus or Elasmosaurus, to which it was distantly ancestral.
Nothosaurs had relatively small crocodile-like heads on long necks, and sharp protruding teeth. Overall, they resembled a more vicious-looking Tanystropheus.
The feet were paddle-like, and are known to have been webbed in life, to help power the animal when swimming. The neck was quite long, and the head was elongate and flattened, and relatively small in relation to the body. The margins of the long jaws were equipped with numerous sharp outward-pointing teeth, indicating a diet of fish and squid.
Sixth Most Deadly SeaEdit
From the deck of the Ancient Mariner, Nigel and crew watch as a Nothosaur comes up for air. When he sees it, Nigel dives into the seas, pursuing the elusive sea reptile.
He finds a pair of Nothosaurs. The Nothosaurs circle him, and Nigel has his prod ready to put off any animal that comes too close.
One of the Nothosaurs move in closer, so Nigel grabs it around its head to swim with it, and he explains that he would be able to open and close its jaws with tremendous force, but the Nothosaurs' jaw muscles are very weak, therefore he can ride with it without the Nothosaurs struggling. He lets the Nothosaurs go so that it can breathe air.