A fossil marine shellfish-eating reptile of the Triassic period, having short flat grinding palatal teeth and sometimes a turtle-like shell.
- Ichthyosaurs and sauropterygians (plesiosaurs, placodonts, and nothosaurs) were marine reptiles restricted to the Mesozoic.
- It had been suggested some time ago that turtles are closely related to the turtle-like placodonts.
- Specifically, it seems quite possible that the choristoderes were originally shellfish-eaters like placodonts and only secondarily became long-snouted fish eaters.
Late 19th century: from Greek plax, plak- 'flat plate' + odous, odont- 'tooth'.
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