Tanystrophenus longobardicus fossils


Tanystropheus longobardicus reproduction occurred during the breeding or mating season. A season that was timed so that the females would lay her eggs two weeks before a full moon (Stahler, M. 2012). Mating between male and female T. longobardicus’ has been referred to as “neck dancing”. Before this “neck dancing” occurred females must choose the males she wished to mate with for life. This process is called natural selection, the male T. longobardicus’ let out a series of long calls at a low pitch. These calls indicate the demographics of the male, such as age, health, strength, and size. After a female picked her desired mate, they begun this ritual of “neck dancing”, where both animals moved their necks around each other and nuzzled one another all the while moving their tails in unison to the rhythm (Stahler, M. 2012). After mating the female would carry the eggs inside her body for about two weeks. Because the female carried the eggs inside her body she would be much heavier, therefore slowing down her already slow rate of swimming. Since the female swimming speed has decreased, the male (her mate) would often catch food for her, such food included fish, squid and carrion (Stahler, M. 2012). In the case of a predator, such as Cymbospondylus natans, the female would expel the eggs prematurely and take off with the male. Tanystropf model exhibition at the mall Poznan Plaza

Once the two weeks were up the female would leave the water to lay her eggs quickly, since Tanystropheus longobardicus necks are so long and awkward, the stress of being out of the water would put great strain on her body. The female dug holes in sand, laid around one hundred eggs or so at a time and buried the eggs. While the female laid her eggs the male would be waiting in shallow shores of the water waiting for her to return. Egg laying would be done at night to avoid land predators such as Coelophysis bauri and Postosuchus alisonae. The eggs would then hatch two weeks later and young quickly rushed to the water (Stahler, M. 2012). Some of the eggs would have been eaten by predators such as C. bauri and P. alisonae as previously stated, although about fifty or so eggs would survive the two week hatching period.

This theory supports Rieppel et al. theory that Tanystropheus longobardicus only came on land to lay eggs.

Another possible theory as mentioned on the Adaptations page would be that Tanystropheus longobardicus would give birth to live young at sea (Fraser, N. 2006).