A massive 18-foot fish-like reptile known as an ichthyosaur has been discovered in India, a rare finding in the Southern Hemisphere.
Scientists have uncovered a complete fossil of a giant Ichthyosaur, a huge underwater creature that roamed the seas 150 million years ago, an absolutely stunning find that has excited the scientific community. It’s also the first time this giant predatory beast resembling a huge fish-like reptile has been found on the sub-continent of India.
This specimen stretches five and a half meters, making it a pretty solid size but not the biggest one ever discovered. Adults can range between four and half meters to an astonishing nine meters in length. It was found among hard-shelled ammonites, which are ancient molluscs related to the modern-day nautilus.
The remains were found int he Kachchh range in the western Indian territory of Gujarat. It’s a remarkable find because ichthyosaurs are rarely found in the Southern Hemisphere, usually being uncovered in North America and Europe.
Lead author Guntupalli Prasad notes: “This is a remarkable discovery not only because it is the first Jurassic ichthyosaur record from India, but also it throws light on the evolution and diversity of ichthyosaurs in the Indo-Madagascan region of the former Gondwanaland and India’s biological connectivity with other continents in the Jurassic.”