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It is the earliest discovered more or less complete fossil reptile skeleton in a museum collection.
It can perhaps be referred to Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus.
In the early twenty-first century, the number of discoveries has increased, leading to an improved understanding of their anatomy, relationships and way of life.
Plesiosaurs had a broad flat body and a short tail.
The first plesiosaurian genus, the eponymous Plesiosaurus, was named in 1821.
Since then, more than a hundred valid species have been described.
In 1824, Conybeare also provided a specific name to Plesiosaurus: dolichodeirus, meaning "longneck".
The two types are related to the traditional strict division of the Plesiosauria into two suborders, the long-necked Plesiosauroidea and the short-neck Pliosauroidea.
Modern research, however, indicates that several "long-necked" groups might have had some short-necked members or vice versa.
Stukely affirmed its "diluvial" nature but understood it represented some sea creature, perhaps a crocodile or dolphin.
The specimen is today preserved in the Natural History Museum, its inventory number being BMNH R.1330.
Greek: πλησίος, plesios, meaning "near to" and Sauria) or plesiosaurs are an order or clade of Mesozoic marine reptiles (marine Sauropsida), belonging to the Sauropterygia.