SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prehistoric marine reptile. Line drawing of the skeleton of Ichthyosaurus communis. The skeleton is thought to be of a young animal. I.communis was a reptile very highly adapted to marine life. Its body had evolved to be hydrodynamically efficient, and its 'limbs' had evolved into true swimming flippers. The genus is known through discoveries in Lower Jurassic sediments (c.180 million years ago). Ichthyosaurs were probably predators, mainly eating fish. Unlike many terrestrial reptiles, the Ichthyosaurs gave birth to live young.
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