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Re: Sauropterygian falls?
Daniel Arndt wrote:
That's a very good question. Another interesting fact about some
Ichthyosaurs, specifically _Shonisaurus_, is that the adults are
So some suggest that they may have been similar to rorqual whales, as the
hyoid apparatus in this specimen measured nearly 5 feet long.
Thanks for the ref. Nicholls and Manabe (2004) argue that many ichthyosaurs
were edentulous as adults. The authors favor _Shonisaurus_ being a suction
feeder rather than a filter feeder, and suggest that belemnites and squid
were sucked up by the jaws. Thus, modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are
cited as the closest analog to toothless ichthyosaurs. (I believe that
sperm whales are also thought to use suction to gobble up giant squid.)
By this time (Late Triassic) there is evidence of filter-feeding sharks
(e.g., _Pseudocetorhinus_), so the large-bodied filter-feeding niche
apparently didn't go begging.
Also, this find is dated to be Norian (Late Triassic) in age, so
Ichthyosaurs got really big, really fast.
Just like sauropods!