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Period of life:
242 MYA
European Ocean Tethys
Helveticosaurus Dino Pet
Main information
Interesting facts
Helvetikosaurus is a reptile with a short snout, long sharp teeth and a body about 2 meters long from snout to tail. It was adapted to the marine life in shallow water that existed in Europe about two and a half hundred million years ago. The long, flexible tail of Helveticosaurus is similar to that of other extinct marine reptiles, and it probably moved through the water by creating side waves. However, Helvetikosaurus also had a strong pectoral girdle and forelimbs that were well suited for rowing. This unique combination of tail and feet is very unusual for aquatic reptiles.
All the remains of Helvetikosaurus were found in the bituminous layers of the mountains of the Swiss canton of Ticino, where the majestic European Tethys ocean overflowed more than 240 million years ago. Helvetikosaurus lived in the shallow waters of the sea shelf, where it hunted for fish and shellfish. Its body was adapted to life in the water, but also allowed it to go ashore.