Thalassomedon belonged to a group of long-necked plesiosaurs known as elasmosaurs, with the longest necks of all.
Thalassomedon’s was six metres long and contained no fewer than 62 vertebrae.
Like all plesiosaurs, it had a broad body, short tail and long paddle-like feet. The body shape and strong front and hind limbs made it a good swimmer. Like the ichthyosaurs it was viviparous, giving birth to live young in the water.