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|Environment||Oceanic waters over modern-day Germany and Nevada|
|Reproduction||Sexual; Gives live birth|
|Average Length||6-10 meters (20-33 feet)|
cephalopods such as ammonites
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.
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.