MARTIN LAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTIN LAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fossilised ichthyosaur paddles. Ichthyosaurs were a type of aquatic dinosaur. Like dolphins, they had streamlined bodies, long snouts, powerful tails and large eyes. The paddles (left) belong to the ichthyosaur Leptonectes sp. and date back to the Jurassic period (about 200-145 million years ago). Ichthyosaurs emerged 240 million years ago in the Triassic era, and became extinct 90 million years ago. Similar to modern aquatic mammals, they were thought to have evolved from terrestrial animals moving back into the water. They lived entirely in the water and were viviparous (gave birth to live young). Fossil found in Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK.
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