Discovered in 1886 and known from many well preserved and complete skeletons, Tanystropheus is a well established dinosaur species and is quite well known. At around 20 feet long, it is also a fairly good sized species. Astoundingly, over half it's length is comprised of it's neck at around 10 feet long, it's neck would make the animals look awkward to some. It is believed that Tanystropheus was largely aquatic based on it's teeth and fossilized findings of fish scales and parts of cephalopd tentacles have been found in the stomachs of Tanystropheus, lending more evidence of a semiaquatic life. What is interesting is that even though Tanystropheus' neck comprised over 50% of it's total length, it had only 10 neck vertebrae, leading some people to speculate that it couldn't bend it's neck much, though it seems unlikely since the animal would have used it's neck more than msot other body parts, especially for hunting and getting air from the surface.
Evolutionary dating places Tanystropheus as a species about 232 million years ago during the middle of the Triassic period. This is much longer ago than Human beings are supposed to have evolved onto the scene.
It is widely believed that Tanystropheus would snatch fish from the water while sitting out of the water. another theory regarding the use of it's long neck is that it would use it in a way akin to softshell turtles and stuck the out to get a breath while staying submerged. it is likely that both scenarios are true and that the animal stayed in the water much of t's time because it would be easier for it to maneuver it's awkward, over sized neck in the water than on land where it's neck would have been harder to support.
Tanystropheus has been suggested as the identity of the famous lake monster Champ, an idea believed by many based on eye witness descriptions. You can learn more about the Lake Champlain creatures in our Cryptozoology section. A video showing what appears to be the clearest shot of a lake Champlain monster to date and seems to show a Tanystropheus just under the waters' surface beside a boat. This video ca be viewed in our Videos section. Some still shots of the creature in the video can be viewed in the Photos of real events section as well.