CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ichthyosaurs. Artwork of two Ichthyosaurs, marine carnivorous reptiles, swimming underwater. They inhabited the seas of the Mesozoic Era from around 225-65 million years ago. They were extremely well adapted to their marine habitat, being streamlined and swift. They inhabited an ecological niche that was similar to that of the present day porpoises (marine mammals). The Ichthyosaurs' adaptation to life in the water is seen in their inability to lay eggs on the land; instead they bore live young underwater. They probably used their tails for propulsion, steering with their flippers as they pursued their fish prey.
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