Uronautes is a dubious genus of extinct plesiosaur from the family Rhomaleosauridae. Uronautes is known from several fossilized vertebra, portions of a few limbs, and ribs.
The word Uronautes
comes from a fusion of the two Greek
, meaning "tailed," and Ναυτεσ
, meaning "sailor", or "mariner". The species
name of U. cetiformis
comes from the Greek word for whale
(or any large sea monster
and the Latin
, which means "shaped", of "formed" meaning "shape".
was first described by the American paleontologist
, Edward Drinker Cope
in 1876. Because of the small number of supposed Uronautes
fossils, Samuel Paul Welles
described the genus as a "nomen dubium", doubting that the remains were evidence of a true genus in 1956
. The genus Uronautes
is still considered a nomen dubium
which means "dubious name". In zoological nomenclature
, a nomen dubium
is a scientific name
that is of unknown or doubtful application.
Like many other rhomaleosaurids, such as Rhomaleosaurus
was a short-necked plesiosaur. The Cervical vertebrae
are short, with partially attached processes
and double-headed ribs.
Supposed Urounautes fossils are known from only a few locations: the Cretaceous deposits of the Fox Hills, and in similar deposits near Fort Pierre, and the Judith River, all in Montana..