9 FT BY 3 FT
Pronounced (IK-thee-oh-SAWR-us) Ichthyosaurus was, a dolphin-like reptile up to 75 feet long. It could swim at 25 mph (40 kph). Ichthyosaurs had a tall dorsal fin, a half-moon-shaped tail, paddle-like flippers, and smooth skin. The nostrils were near the eyes on the top of the head. It had massive ear bones and large eyes, probably giving it acute hearing and sight. These marine reptiles gave birth to live young. Their diet was mostly fish, but also included cephalopods (like belemnites). Hundreds of Ichthyosaurus fossils have been found in England, Germany, Greenland, and Alberta, Canada. They lived during the Early Jurassic to the early Cretaceous periods. It was not a dinosaur, but another type of extinct reptile. Ichthyosaurus, which means "fish lizard," was named by Charles Koenig in 1818.
This piece was first produced in the 1860s by Henry Ward, of Ward's Scientific. We purchased an 11-piece collection of his antique casts with the intention of making them available to the world once again this time with the correct coloration.
This is the first time in 140 years that this piece has been available for purchase and the first time it has ever been colored correctly.
The six-mile stretch of coastline to either side of the town Lyme Regis is world-famous for its fossils. People have been collecting fossils for at least the last two hundred and fifty years, the most famous being Mary Anning who was born in Lyme in 1799. When she was twelve years old, she discovered the first Ichthyosaur ever to be found in England. During her lifetime, she extracted the first complete ichthyosaur, plesiosaur, and the finest flying reptile among many other significant finds.
Lyme Regis lies at the point where the Triassic rocks disappear below the sea and the oldest Jurassic rocks, thick clays and thin limestone of the 'Lias', form the cliffs. These rocks were deposited in a moderately deep tropical sea that was packed with marine life and as a result, fossils are very common. Some, such as pencil-shaped belemnites and coiled ammonites, are easy to find but others, like ichthyosaurs, are far rarer.
Specs: From the Jurassic Period of Glastonbury, England.
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