Fossil ichthyosaur skeleton - ROM2007_9644_3


Fossil ichthyosaur skeleton

Place Collected
Europe, Germany, Baden-Wurttemberg, Holzmaden
Date: Acquired in November 1962
length=117; width=32; height=3 cm
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumChordata
    • ClassReptilia
    • OrderIchthyopterygia
    • SuborderMerriamosauriformes
    • FamilyStenopterygiidae
    • GenusStenopterygius
    • SpecificEpithetquadriscissus
Object number: ROMVP03180
On view
Gallery Location:James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs, Life in the Sea Jurassica, Jurassic Ichthyosaurs, Stenopterygius
DescriptionStenopterygius was probably an open-ocean ichthyosaur with a lifestyle rather like a modern dolphin's. Propulsion was provided by its slender, two-lobed tail. Like sharks, the vertebrae of ichthyosaurs extended into the tail for support and control. Unlike sharks, however, the vertebrae in the ichthyosaur's tail extended downward into the lower lobe, not upward. Ichthyosaurs were reptiles but they did not leave the water to lay their eggs; instead they bore their young live, like whales and dolphins. Ichthyosaurs (“fish-lizards”) are named for their superficial resemblance to fishes. Most have streamlined bodies with fisIchthyosaurh-like fins and large crescent-shaped tails like modern tuna, but the tail vertebrae bent downward into the bottom half of the tail fin.
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