The elasmosaurs, meaning lizard-ribbon, could reach 14 meters, more than half of that length for the neck articulated on 70 vertebrae which served as a rudder to direct the beast at full speed onto its prey.
In 2011 a new species of elasmosaur is described in Morocco from two samples : a crushed skull and its mandible, and a complete mandible. It receives the name of zarafasaura, the lizard-giraffe.
The more recent excavation, also in Morocco, of the 75% complete fossil skeleton of an elasmosaur makes it possible to better understand this family of sea monsters. The newcomer has no blatant difference with the remains of the zarafasaura. It took two years for a team of specialists to prepare it. It is 8.4 m long and 3.70 m wide at the level of the central fins.
This unprecedented fossil will be sold by Binoche et Giquello in Paris (Drouot) on March 7, lot 51. The press release is issued by Drouot.
It is difficult to anticipate its price because of its rarity, its exceptional size and its significant conservation rate. I described previously in this column a Jurassic plesiosaur 3 m long announced as complete that sold for € 457K including premium at Sotheby's on October 5, 2010 and an ichthyosaur 5,40 m long 75% complete sold for € 180K including premium by Artcurial on April 7, 2009.