One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of pliosaurs, the type of the family Pliosauridae; (also pliosaurus) a pliosaur of this genus.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Richard Owen (1804–1892), comparative anatomist and palaeontologist. From scientific Latin Pleiosaurus, genus name from pleio- + -saurus, so called because the genus is closer to the saurian type than Ichthyosaurus.
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