Definition of nothosaur in English:



  • A semiaquatic fossil carnivorous reptile of the Triassic period, having a slender body and long neck, related to the plesiosaurs.

    • ‘They were clearly related to the nothosaurs, with which they were contemporary.’
    • ‘As well as dinosaur skeletons, the exhibition will feature dinosaur eggs, claws, teeth, skeletal spines, large plesiosaurs, tiny nothosaurs, turtles and other marine reptiles.’
    • ‘Plesiosaurs evolved from animals related to pachypleurosaurs and nothosaurs during the Middle Triassic.’
    • ‘The cousins of the Triassic nothosaurs, the long-necked plesiosauroids and short-necked pliosauroids, were also common.’
    • ‘There were already air breathing reptiles in the sea in the form of plesiosaurs, nothosaurs, ichthyosaurs, you know, so that niche if you like was kind of locked off to them.’


1930s: from modern Latin Nothosauria, from Greek nothos ‘false’ + sauros ‘lizard’.