Paleontologist Megan L Jacobs said: «This ichthyosaur has several differences that make it unique enough to be its species and genus.» “Late modern ichthyosaurs from the Jurassic period in the United Kingdom are extremely rare, as these creatures have been studied for 200 years. We learned they were new almost immediately, but it took about a year for comprehensive comparisons to be made with all of the late Jurassic ichthyosaurs to make sure our instincts were correct. It was exciting. Too not being able to find a match. «
This specific specimen was discovered in 2009 and is estimated to be approximately 6 feet long. It was discovered by paleontologist Steve Etches MBE after a «cliff collapse along the seashore».
It appears to have some similarities to sperm whales with a «very deep rib cage» that may have allowed larger lungs and a larger area so that the internal organs were not crushed under pressure. She also has large eyes, which means she can see well in low light.
Hundreds of tiny teeth seem to indicate a diet that may consist of squid and young fish, and «the teeth are unique in being so soft.»
«They still had to breathe air on the surface, and they didn’t have scales,» Jacobs said. «There is hardly anything really known about the biology of these animals. We can only make assumptions from the fossils that we have, but there is nothing like them today. In the end, to adapt to being completely aquatic, they can no longer climb to Earth to lay eggs, so they evolved into «She carries a live little tail first. The skeletons are found with babies inside the mother and also those that have already been born.»
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Adam Pankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter Embed a Tweet and on Twitch.