Stenopterygius, one of the Ichthyosauruses
, was an aquatic reptile that filled the same niche that the
dolphins and porpoises exist in today. They were fast swimmers and
fed on fish and other sea life. Some typical features of this
reptile are long jaws with numerous teeth, eyes set within a ring
of bony plate, the reduction of the pelvic girdle components, the
associated paddle, and subdivided finger rows. The most
astonishing feature of the Ichthyosauruses is that they
gave live births. Fossils have been discovered that show a mother
that had died while giving birth. The Ichthyosauruses
were most prevalent during the Jurassic period.
- Early and Middle Jurassic.
- Europe (England and Germany), South America.
- Up to 6ft 6inches long (2m).
- Fish, shellfish and other invertebrates.