Kaiwhekea (Maori for "squid eater"); pronounced ky-wheh-KAY-ah
Coasts of New Zealand
Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 20 feet long and 500-1,000 pounds
Fish and squids
Long neck; short head with needle-like teeth
If there was any justice in the world, Kaiwhekea would be much better-known than its fellow New Zealand marine reptile, Mauisaurus: the latter has been reconstructed from a single paddle, whereas Kaiwhekea is represented by a near-complete skeleton (to be fair, though, Mauisaurus was the much bigger beast, tipping the scales at 10 to 15 tons compared to half a ton, max, for its relatively shrimpy competitor). As plesiosaurs go, Kaiwhekea appears to have been most closely related to Aristonectes; its short head and numerous, needle-like teeth point to a diet of fish and squids, hence its name (Maori for "squid eater").