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Mixosaurus
Mixosaurus
'An artist's representation of Mixosaurus.'

Distribution

Worldwide

Classification

Ichthyosauria, Mixosauridae

Meaning of name

Mixed lizard

Named by

Baur, 1887

Time

Middle Triassic

Size

1 metre (3 ft)

Lifestyle

Fish-hunter

Species

M. avatus, M. callywayi, M. cornalianus, M. kuhnschnyderi, M. panxianensis, M. xindianensis, M. yangjuanensis'

Mixosaurus was an ichthyosaur which lived in different locations around the world.  It lived during the middle Triassic.

DescriptionEdit

In appearance Mixosaurus seems intermediary between the eel-like forms typified by Cymbospondylusand the more familiar dolphin-shaped forms such as the late Ichthyosaurushence the name.  The long tail with its low fin suggests that it was a slow swimmer, moving forward by undulation of the tail.

FeaturesEdit

The body and tail are long, with the tail having a low fin that is not as well-developed as the shark-like fin of the late types, and there is a stabilizing dorsal fin on the back.  The paddle-like fins are still made up of five toes each, unlike the muliti-toed structure found in later ichthyosaurs.  However, each toe has more individual bones than is usual (polyphalangy) and the front limbs are longer than the rear.