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Eurhinosaurus
Fossil range: Early Jurassic
Eurhinosaurus BW
Scientific classification

Order:

Ichthyosauria

Family:

Leptopterygiidae

Genus:

Eurhinosaurus
Abel, 1909

Species:

  • E. longirostris (type)
  • E. costini

Eurhinosaurus ('well-nosed lizard') is an extinct genus of ichthyosaur from the Early Jurassic (Sinemurian - Toarcian) of Europe (England & Germany). It was a large genus, exceeding 6 m in length.[1]

ClassificationEdit

The cladogram below follows the topology from a 2015 analysis by Marek et al.

Parvipelvia 

 Macgowania



 Hudsonelpidia


 Neoichthyosauria 


 Temnodontosaurus


 Leptonectidae 

 Leptonectes




 Excalibosaurus



 Eurhinosaurus







 Suevoleviathan



 Thunnosauria





PaleobiologyEdit

Eurhinosaurus looked like a regular ichthyosaur, with a fish-like body including a dorsal and caudal fin, and large eyes, but had one distinct feature that set it apart from other ichthyosaurs. Its upper jaw was twice as long as the lower jaw and covered with sidewards-pointing 'teeth', like the sawfish's. It might have been used to search vegetation and crustaceans on the ocean bottom for prey (mainly by "swishing" it's upper jaw against the sea floor) like a sawfish, or to violently stab prey to death like swordfish, sailfish and marlins do. Interestingly, a Miocene cetacean, Eurhinodelphis, also developed a similar 'sword'.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Maisch MW, Matzke AT. 2000. The Ichthyosauria. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie B (Geologie und Paläontologie) 298: 1-159

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