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Cymbospondylus
Cymbospondylus
General Information
Universe Real Life
Aliases Boat Spine
Classification Cymbospondylus sp.
Species Type Ichthyosaurus
Homeworld Earth
Environment Oceanic waters over modern-day Germany and Nevada
Intelligence Non-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological Information
Reproduction Sexual; Gives live birth
Average Length 6-10 meters (20-33 feet)
Locomotion Body undulations
Feeding Behavior Carnivorous
Prey Fish
belemnites
cephalopods such as ammonites
Predators Possibly none
Lineage Information
Descendant(s) Ichthyosaurs
Cultural Information
Alignment Neutral
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Deuterostomia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptiles
Subclass Diapsida
Infraclass Neodiapsida
Superorder Ichthyopterygia
Order Ichthyosauria
Genus Cymbospondylus
Species buchseri
germanicus
grandis
natans
nevadanus
parvus
petrinus
piscosus
Other Information
Status Extinct

Cymbospondylus (Ancient Greek for "boat spine") was an early ichthyosaur genus that existed between the middle and later Triassic period (240-210 million years ago). They are noted as the second-largest species of ichthyosaurid currently known, second only to the Shastasaurus, measuring between 6-10 meters (20-33 feet) in fossil length.

PaleobiologyEdit

Cymbospondylus Lineup

A size comparison between a Cymbospondylus and a Human.

Cymbospondylus were one of the least fish-like ichythosaurids, lacking both a dorsal fin as well as the fluked tail. Despite this, they did have the stereotypical elongated snout, measuring in at 1 meter. This lack of fin and tail were due to its basal nature, being very primitive. Their heads possessed large jaws, with rows of teeth that were adapted for catching and holding fish, belemnites, and cephalopods such as ammonites.

Their long, eel-like, flukeless tails on the other hand took up nearly half of their overall length would have been excellent for swimming, allowing the various Cymbospondylus species to move through the waters at fast speeds to more efficiently hunt down shoals of prey. They likely used their tails as their primary swimming mechanism, and like modern-day sea snakes they probably swam by wriggling its body from side to side. This would be combined with stabilizers of the paddle-like limbs, which would also be used for slowing down their swimming speed.

Adults probably spent much of their time hunting in deep offshore waters, venturing into shallower waters only to breed or to catch some seasonally-available prey items. They most likely gave birth to live young, due to having no proper procedure of laying eggs. They were likely apex predators and once grown, would probably have had few, if any, predators.

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