Cretaceous ichthyosaur discovery


From the BBC:

5 January 2012 Last updated at 17:53 GMT

German marine reptile find rewrites fossil record

German experts have found a new species of prehistoric marine giant from a time when most of that family of reptiles were thought to have died out.

The rare ichthyosaur find from the Braunschweig area, northern Germany, is 130 million years old, dating from the Lower Cretaceous era.

Most ichthyosaur fossils date from the Jurassic era, millions of years before.

The Braunschweig fossil revelations were reported in the science journal Plos One on Tuesday.

The new type of ichthyosaur, discovered during roadworks in 2005, has been called Acamptonectes densus – “Stiff Swimmer”.

The neck vertebrae were so tightly packed that “it couldn’t move its neck, so it must have shot through the water like a dart”, said palaeontologist Ulrich Joger of the Braunschweig Natural History Museum.

“It’s a spectacular find. It raises new questions about the [Jurassic] extinction theory,” he said.

The specimen is similar to the Speeton Clay ichthyosaur found in the north of England in 1958.

The experts say the predator fed on fish and squid and looked like a dolphin, though the species are not related.

The main dinosaur extinction event was at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago. It is widely believed a meteorite impact caused it.

See also here.

Ancient Ichthyosaur Carcass Did Not Explode, According to Study of 100 Bloated Human Corpses: here.

The dolphins of their day, ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that breathed air and swam at high speeds. But if they moved from deep to shallow water too fast, dissolved gases in their blood formed bubbles, impeding circulation and causing damage – evident in their scarred bones: here.

12 thoughts on “Cretaceous ichthyosaur discovery

  1. Pingback: Ichtyosaurs’ injuries, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: New Edmontosaurus dinosaur discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Fossils of England’s Jurassic Coast | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: New dinosaur discovery in China | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Big Triassic reptiles discovery in Texas | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Oldest reptile live birth fossil discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: First dinosaur discovery in Malaysia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: New ichthyosaur species discovery in English museum | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Gigantic shark from the dinosaur age discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Ichthyosaurs, why did they become extinct? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: First four-legged snake fossil discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: New ichthyosaur species discovery in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.