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Ichthyosaurus

Ichthyosaurus Sculpture 

How to pronounce it's name:

Ik-thee-o-saw-rus

Definition of name:

"fish lizard"

Lived when:

Emerged in the Triassic period (200 million years ago) and became more abundant throughout the Jurassic and into the Cretaceous era.

Died out when:

At the end of the Cretaceous period along with the dinosaurs

Type of food eaten:

Carnivorous (fish, shrimp and other sea creatures)

Fossils found where:

Canada, China, Japan and Spitsbergen (Northern Europe)

Model facts:

Cartilage doesn't fossilise, therefore they omitted the dorsal fin and guessed the shape of the tail both of which should've been similar to a sharks. The modellers also depicted the creatures as being able to come out onto the land as at the time they did not know that they gave birth to live yyoung and therefore presumed that, being a reptile, would have come onto land to lay eggs. They were in fact very well adapted to having their young at sea.

The pie-like sections around tbe eye on the models were not actually how the creature looked. They were a way of showing the public how the protective sections (called sclerotic plates) looked underneath the skin. They worked in a similar way to a camera diaphragm where they would open and close in a twisting motion allowing the eye to be covered with a smaller or larger hole and thus protecting them at greater sea depth

Creature fact:

Unlike most reptiles, Ichthyosaurus gave birth to live young. A fossil specimen of a female and a baby (who had both died during giving birth) can be seen at Natural History Museum in London

 

 

Anaplotherium | Ichtheosaurus | Iguanodon | Megalosaurus | Megalocerus | Megatherium | Mosasurus | Paleotherium | Plesiosaurus | Pterodactylus |Teleosaurus