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Pliosaurus rossicus

Revised remake. 2016. Science advice: Nikolay Zverkov
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© 2016 - 2021 Olorotitan
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Neranella's avatar

Whatever speed this beast could reach, it was enough to hunt its preys... Or a swimmer. :P

PedroSalas's avatar
The previous version is really good...but this new one is absolutely wonderful!
Xiphactinus's avatar
Гм, прежняя версия была поупитанней, и челюсти пошире были.
batworker's avatar
Его обратно из лиоплевродонов в плиозавры перебросили?
Olorotitan's avatar
года 3-4 наверное как.
WDGHK's avatar
For some reason, it looks very penguin-like to me. 
Jewel-Star's avatar
I wonder how fast these guys swam.
paleosir's avatar
Taking leatherback turtles as a base, which can reach almost 30 km/h, I'd say these were at least a bit faster, so maybe 35 km/h or maaaaybe 40 in very short bursts.
Dinopithecus's avatar
Interesting comment. I've been wondering just how fast pliosaurs could swim with their method of locomotion, so I guess this may give me an idea.

Some aquatic animals, even truly massive ones, are sometimes branded as swift animals (and in absolute terms, you could very well argue that they are). And because they have water supporting their weight unlike terrestrial animals, this may actually make sense. But looking at speed figures for these beasts, especially published ones, they only seem to be as fast as certain terrestrial animals that...aren't exactly the fastest animals ever (I mean that in the most literal sense possible).

For example, the orca. The highest reliable maximum speed figure I've seen in the scientific literature is 45 km/h, which is only some 5 km/h (~3 mph) faster than the potential maximum speed of Tyrannosaurus. It may even be as slow as 30 km/h. Still not something you want swimming after you, but not at the 65 km/h it's often said to be.

Just a random ramble I wanted to get out of my system.
paleosir's avatar
Even though it's a fairly old comment, I still agree with what I said. And you raise some good points as well.
The fastest leatherback turtles were clocked in at 27 km/h. Leatherback turtles are pretty well adapted to the water, but maybe not as much as pliosaurs (those were whale-level aquatic and had a very streamlined snout, without the rim of the ''shield'' to slow them down.
That's why I think that pliosaurs were probably as fast as those orca figures you listed, in short bursts.
Some plesiosaurs were likely faster than that, especially huge-flippered, compact ones such as Nakonanectes and polycotylids seem to have been pretty fast.

Also, interesting information: I always thought the fastest orca's reached 55 km/h. 
dolphin-xht's avatar
I would have to disagree on this. While sea turtles have to return to land to reproduce, that doesn't mean they are necessarily less adapted to a pelagic lifestyle - locomotion and reproduction are independent, and to state one necessarily correlates with another would imply intelligent design (though they often do). Both sea snakes and sea cows live their entire life in water, but they are nowhere near the seals in terms of their adaptation for diving or long-distance migration. The leatherback turtles has a tear-drop shaped caprice, and the flippers are massive in proportion to its body. The same could not be said for Pliosaurus - though the fact that they have four flippers may help in this case. Nonetheless, the diet of leatherback means that it is a very nomadic animal and definitely a master of the high seas, while the high trophic level of pliosaur would imply a more coastal lifestyle - though it is definitely capable of long distance migration. I'm not saying that pliosaurs are necessarily slower, but to argue that leatherback is nothing to sneeze at in this contest.

Also, I think it is really unlikely for pliosaurs to be comparable to large whales in terms of their speed simply due to their mode of propulsion. Penguins, sea turtles, mantas and sea lions are all swift and agile for their size, but they are not as speed as those animals propelled by their tails. The validity of the 55kmh record of killer whale however should also be taken with a pinch of salt because it comes from a dubious source that got repeated many times, and the fact that white sided dolphins and dall's porpoise can easily outpace a pursue killer whale in a flat-out chase seems to support this (there are some videos you can check about that). Other, more conservative sources states a top speed somewhere between 45 - 50kmh, which looks quite compelling to me.
Dinopithecus's avatar
Say, can you direct me to a source or something about maximum sea turtle speed?

And you're welcome about the information. I'm all ears for anyone who can show me a reliable (i.e. no reason to doubt it and the methods used to obtain it), published figure for orcas going 55 km/h or more, but I just haven't seen it. I'm going to guess people overestimate animal speed due to the thrill of the moment and, of course, unreliable methods.
paleosir's avatar
Ok, I've done some digging, and it seems like they can be even faster.
According to the Guinnes World Records book, the fastest ever recorded speed for a Pacific Leatherback turtle, was 22 mph, or 35 km/h. It was a frightened female. That's also the fastest speed of a non-avian reptile ever recorded I think.
Also, other sites very often cite this figure.
This would somewhat raise my estimates for pliosaur speed. 

I don't know how reliable that is, though.

According to this… Leatherback turtles usually leisurely swim at speeds below 11 km/h, often cruising at ~3 km/h, but that of course doesn't reflect top speed.
paleosir's avatar
I read it in a science magazine in a long article about animal speeds.

Oh, I don't have information for that, that was just the figure that most people give for orca speed, that's why I was grateful that you provided a source about their real speed! 
Zalcoti's avatar
I love all the little details you put in the skin from the scars to the barnacles. Top notch as usual. Sign Emoji-03 (Thumbs up) 
Smnt2000's avatar
I didn't have the chance to say it, but I can't cope with the fact that the level of your textures has reached an even more impressive level.
The amount of work you're putting in yor illustrations is jaw-dropping.
Xiphactinus's avatar
Махайру ещё не собрался рисовать?
Olorotitan's avatar
нет, не было в планах. Он не особо интересен, материалу - ошметки одни. Есть получше животные, которые ждут своего выхода :)
lythronax-argestes's avatar
Is this the same as Makhaira rossica? Or is it a different taxon?
Olorotitan's avatar
No. It used to be known as Leopleurodon rossicus. Makhaira is different taxon. 
lythronax-argestes's avatar
I see! Thank you for the info.
XStreamChaosOfficial's avatar
Zhombah's avatar
I love it! And the barnacles are a nice touch!
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