(also ichthyosaurus /ˌɪkθɪəˈsɔːrəs/)
A fossil marine reptile of the Mesozoic era, resembling a dolphin with a long pointed head, four flippers, and a vertical tail.
- They included the great marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, but also smaller creatures such as ammonites and belemnites - the precursor's of today's squid.
- Vertebrate remains include isolated skeletal elements and tooth plates of palaeonisciform and actinopterygian fish, as well as body fossils of ichthyosaurs and other marine reptiles.
- More distantly related to true dinosaurs were the marine plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs.
Mid 19th century: from ichthyo- 'fish' + Greek sauros 'lizard'.
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