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Can giant ichthyosaur fossil shed light on whale development?

Really, the only connection is that youngorum is another life form that grew very large in a comparatively short period of time. Maybe a number of unrelated examples will point to a general rule but the story doesn’t shed light on the peculiar history of whales. Read More ›

Researchers: Soft tissue shows Jurassic ichthyosaur was warm-blooded, had blubber

From ScienceDaily: Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators. “Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related to those sea-dwelling mammals,” says research co-author Mary Schweitzer, professor of biological sciences at NC State with a joint appointment at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and visiting professor at Lund University. “We aren’t exactly sure of their biology either. They have many features in common with living marine reptiles like sea turtles, but we know from the fossil record that they gave Read More ›