Oldest ‘fish-lizard’ fossils ever found suggests these sea monsters survived the ‘Great Dying’ –

An artist’s interpretation of what the recently discovered ichthyosaur may have looked like. (Image credit: Esther van Hulsen/Uppsala University)

Ancient “fish-lizards” were swimming around in Earth’s oceans 250 million years ago, long before scientists thought they first emerged, a new study finds. 

Researchers discovered the fossilized remains of an ichthyosaur on Spitsbergen, a remote Arctic island in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway in 2014. Ichthyosaurs are an extinct, fish-like lizard whose body shape resembled that of modern-day dolphins and toothed whales. The remains, which consist of 11 tail vertebrae, were trapped within a limestone boulder that dated to the early Triassic period, which makes the fossils the oldest ichthyosaur remains ever uncovered and the oldest evidence of marine reptiles.

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