Thursday, December 31, 2015

A new Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaur From Jurassic British Columbia

An Upper Jurassic ichthyosaur (Ichthyosauria: Ophthalmosauridae) from the Bowser Basin, British Columbia


Sissons et al


Although the Jurassic was a period of high diversity in ichthyosaurs, only a small number of specimens have been recorded from Canada to date. We describe here a new occurrence of an ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaur from a shallow marine depositional environment within the Bowser Basin of northern British Columbia. Based on vertebral diameters and the size of the humerus, the ichthyosaur was relatively large compared to other contemporaneous forms, yet possessed teeth that were small for its body size. As well, the height to length ratio of the preserved vertebrae suggests it may have had a more elongate, less regionalized body shape. Although indeterminate at a generic level, the presence of Late Jurassic ichthyosaurs in nearshore waters of northwestern North America further demonstrates their cosmopolitan distribution.

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