Eight seasons of fieldwork in the Upper Jurassic black shales of the Slottsmøya Member of the Agardhfjellet Formation (Upper Jurassic; Middle Volgian) in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard have yielded numerous skeletal remains of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. Among the new discoveries from the Slottsmøya Member are two very large specimens of short-necked plesiosaurians. Dental and postcranial morphology suggest that they represent a new species of the genus Pliosaurus, a taxon known from several specimens of Kimmeridgian and Tithonian-aged strata in England, France and Russia. Skeletal dimensions of this new taxon suggest that it was one of the largest members of the Pliosauridae and that it possessed comparatively longer front limbs than other known pliosaurids. A morphometric analysis of pliosaurids indicates they had a wide range of interspecific variability in relative paddle lengths compared to body size.
A new species of Pliosaurus (Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria) from the Middle Volgian of central Spitsbergen, Norway