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A mysterious giant ichthyosaur from the lowermost Jurassic of Wales
Martin, J.E.; Vincent, P.; Suan, G.; Sharpe, T.; Hodges, P.; Williams, M.; Howells, C.; Fischer, V. (2015). A mysterious giant ichthyosaur from the lowermost Jurassic of Wales. Acta Palaeontol. Pol. 60(4): 837-843. https://hdl.handle.net/10.4202/app.00062.2014
In: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. Polska Akademia Nauk. Instytut Paleobiologii: Warszawa. ISSN 0567-7920; e-ISSN 1732-2421, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Martin, J.E.
  • Vincent, P.
  • Suan, G.
  • Sharpe, T.
  • Hodges, P.
  • Williams, M.
  • Howells, C.
  • Fischer, V., more

Abstract
    Ichthyosaurs rapidly diversified and colonised a wide range of ecological niches during the Early and Middle Triassic period, but experienced a major decline in diversity near the end of the Triassic. Timing and causes of this demise and the subsequent rapid radiation of the diverse, but less disparate, parvipelvian ichthyosaurs are still unknown, notably because of inadequate sampling in strata of latest Triassic age. Here, we describe an exceptionally large radius from Lower Jurassic deposits at Penarth near Cardiff, south Wales (UK) the morphology of which places it within the giant Triassic shastasaurids. A tentative total body size estimate, based on a regression analysis of various complete ichthyosaur skeletons, yields a value of 12-15 m. The specimen is substantially younger than any previously reported last known occurrences of shastasaurids and implies a Lazarus range in the lowermost Jurassic for this ichthyosaur morphotype.

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