STL Science Center

STL Science Center

14 August 2015

Stints in the Ocean

One of the most populated oceans of the Mesozoic was situated over what is now the land area of present day Germany. As with many past oceanic environments Germany is filled with fine sediments and well preserved specimens. Some of those specimens are ocean-going animals tat are larger than a person; the majority of the oceanic fossils are actually much smaller, but we, as a community, are often most interested in the largest of animals. One of the well preserved large oceanic animals of the German fossil beds is the well represented genus Stenopterygius. This large squat aquatic lizard was actually rather aerodynamic and, as with all ichthyosaurs, very fish-like in its appearance and morphology. It is also one of a small handful of ichthyosaurs that have been discovered in the act of giving birth (meaning a mom and child mortality)

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