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Plesiosaurus is a genus of extinct, large marine sauropterygian reptile that lived during the early part of the Jurassic Period, and is known by nearly complete skeletons from the Lias of England. It is distinguishable by its small head, long and slender neck, broad turtle-like body, a short tail, and two pairs of large, elongated paddles. It lends its name to the order Plesiosauria, of which it is an early, but fairly typical member. It contains only one species, the type, Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus. Other species once assigned to this genus, including P. brachypterygius, P. guilielmiiperatoris, and P. tournemirensis have been reassigned to new genera, such as Hydrorion, Seeleyosaurus and Occitanosaurus.