Superb Ichthyosaur Rostrum with Associated Teeth

Ichthyosaurus communis

Class Sauropsida, Subclas Diapsida, Superorder Ichthyopterygia, Ichthyosauridae

Geological Time: Early Jurassic, Toarcian Stage (~178 million years ago)

Size: (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Matrix is 150 mm by 120 mm by 55 mm tall Individual teeth are 10 mm – 35 mm long

Fossil Site: Yorkshire Coast, United Kingdom

Fossil Code: 11180

Price: $895.00 - sold


Ichthyosaurus communisDescription: This is a superb partial rostrum (jaw) of an Ichthyosaur known as Ichyosaurus communis One of a line of ‘fish lizards” whose morphology was convergent upon the modern-day porpoises. It used its lunate tail fro propulsion and its broad fins (the genus derives its name for the word broad) to maintain trim and for steering. To date, no ancestral reptile that gave rise to the Ichthyosaurs has been found. We do know that the early ones had five digits in each fin which later Ichthyosaurprogressed by the addition of accessory digits with many phalanges. Ichthyosaurus communis was a small-sized Ichthyosaur at an average of 2 meters in length, while some specimens were known to reach 5 meters. The last example of an ichthyosaur was that of Platypterygius found in 93.5 million year old deposits in Bavaria, marking the end of a line that began in the Triassic, a reign of some 160 million years. Why they became extinct while the Plesiosaurs persisted up to the end-Cretaceous extinction event over 25 million years later is a mystery. This specimen has over 20 teeth displayed in lateral view, as well as several cross-sectional examples. Note the presence of several ammonites that also met their end at the same time. This is an exceptional association piece, a bargain when one considers the going price for a SINGLE tooth is upwards of $100.

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