The Ichthyosaur is nicknamed "Fish Lizard" is an ancient marine reptilian dinosaur 15 feet long resembling dolphins and whales that survived alongside other epic sea predators like ancient sharks and plesiosaurs. They lived between 90 and 250 million years ago when supercontinent Pangaea broke into Laurasia and Gondwana.
Fossils of the Jurassic-era Ichthyosaur have already been found all over the world with, so what makes this one found in India so special? This is the only almost-complete skeleton ever discovered from this part of the world. Previous ones were only parts of the spine and teeth, providing little clues to these creatures here.
"Vertebrate fossils are rare from the Kachchh region, and we were expecting only bone fragments from this area. So, to find a near-complete skeleton is surprising as well as exciting," said study lead author Guntupalli Prasad in an interview.
This also strengthens theories of a sea route connecting India and South America where these creatures could travel through.
What Did the Iichthyosaur Eat?
The teeth showed wear marks from biting hard rough things and since mollusk fossils were found next to it, archaeologists believe they ate mollusks as well as ancient fish and other smaller reptiles.