Fossil gives new lineage clues to dolphin-shaped reptile

05/16/2013 | LiveScience.com

Studies of a fossil of a member of the dolphin-shaped ichythyosaur group revealed that types of the swimming reptile lived past the Jurassic period into the Cretaceous period some 145 million years ago. Researchers say this "out of time" fossil gives them a new view of the animal's lineage. "Maybe the existence of such Jurassic-style ichthyosaurs in the Cretaceous has been missed, because they always lived in the Middle East, a region that has previously yielded only a single, very fragmentary ichthyosaur fossil," said Valentin Fischer, a study researcher from the University of Liege in Belgium.

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