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Marine Saurian

An illustration of a Marine Saurian

The marine saurian (French: saurien océanique) is a type of sea serpent identified by Heuvelmans, often likened to a crocodile or alligator, but typically larger and reported from the open ocean, well beyond the range of the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). It corresponds to the mystery saurian in the Coleman-Huyghe system, the saurian sea serpent in the Champagne system, and the giant marine crocodylomorph in the Marshall system. Reports of marine saurians have come from tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, with several notable sightings off New Zealand in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Bernard Heuvelmans classified only nine sea serpent reports as marine saurians, deeming four certain and five probable. He speculated that the marine saurian might be a surviving thalattosuchian, a group of marine crocodilians from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, or possibly a surviving mosasaur. Due to uncertainty, Heuvelmans did not assign it a scientific name. Other cryptozoologists, such as Richard Freeman, suggest that oversized and out-of-place saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are a more likely explanation, while Karl Shuker argues that eyewitness reports do not allow for a specific identity. Michael Woodley contends that it is not a reptile but perhaps one or two cetaceans, specifically Basilosaurus or Rodhocetus.

Dale A. Drinnon divides marine saurians into several subcategories, including a horned crocodile, an alligator-like sea crocodilian, and various types of mosasaur. A large marine saurian is also considered a candidate for the Biblical leviathan and the Chinese lung, with freshwater counterparts suggested as possible identities for some lake monsters.[1]

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