Ichthyosaurus skull - Ichthyosaurus communis - Nodule 300 x 320 mm

Ichthyosaurus skull - Ichthyosaurus communis - Nodule 300 x 320 mm
Jurassic, Lias Formation (189-196 mil y) - Lyme Regis Dorset, UK

Ichthyosaurus (Greek for fish lizard) is an extinct genus of marine reptiles. Ichthyosaurus strongly resembled present-day dolphins.

Ichthyosaurs grew up to 2-3 meters in length, and had a round head and a long, pointy snout. They were built to swim fast.

The first Ichthyosaur was found by Mary Anning in the lime stone cliffs of Lyme Regis which are part of what is now called the Jurassic Coast.

Very nice aesthetic piece, preserved in the original nodule in which is was fossilized. Unfortunately, other remains of this particular Ichthyosaur have never been found, but what makes this specimen so special is that the bony plates at the eye socket, the so-called sclerotic ring, is still present. This is the circular segmented bone located around the eyes of some vertebrates to support the eye. It is mainly found in species that live in the deep. Often these bones are not preserved as fossils.

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