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I recently saw a paper on a new European cymbospondyline
ichthyosaur that has been named _Belanosaurus_. Does anyone have a
ref for this? Incidentally, I put 'shastasaurid' in commas because of
Motani's recent assertion that the group is polyphyletic.
One more thing.. thanks once again to Ralph for his new references
list.. Lingham-Soliar and Rief (1998) talk about fast scombrid-like
swimming in ichthyosaurs. I will not comment on this without having
read it, but please note that some ichthyologists have pointed out
that scombrids (and other scombroids) are not normally as fast as we
usually think they are. They actually spend most of their time
cruising around quite slowly (at the same speed as big gadids
according to Carey and Block) and are exhibiting a hyperactive escape
response when caught in field speed tests. This hyperactivity also
explains the very elevated temperature often recorded in field tested
scombrids. I'm not saying that this _is_ actually the case - just
that it's what some ichthyologists have said.
So maybe thunniform ichthyosaurs were the same. Plus remember that
scombroids have an unusual plate-shaped vertebra supporting
their caudal fin *and* a unique hinge mechanism in the caudal
verts... no ichthyosaur does.
"I know nothing"