Stenopterygius and Hauffiopteryx ichthyosaurs, illustration

Stenopterygius and Hauffiopteryx ichthyosaurs, illustration

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Credit: JOHN SIBBICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stenopterygius and Hauffiopteryx ichthyosaurs, illustration. Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that lived from 248 to 90 million years ago, during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. They were carnivorous predators, and being streamlined and swift were extremely well adapted to their marine habitat. They inhabited an ecological niche that was similar to that of the present day porpoises (marine mammals). Stenopterygius triscissus ichthyosaurs (top) existed around 183 to 179 million years ago in the Early Jurassic. Hauffiopteryx typicus ichthyosaurs (bottom) existed around 182 million years ago in the Early Jurassic. They were around 3 metres in length, feeding on prey such as ammonites and squid respectively.

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