In the early 1800’s, a new discovery that left paleontologists in awe was the fossil finding of the immeasurable amount of species of reptiles, Ichthyosaurs. Greek for “fish lizards”, these fossils were found all over the world. Because these large aquatic reptiles migrated just as whales do today, paleontologists have had the amazing advantage of collecting fascinating bone fragments throughout the past 177 years. Ichthyosaurs swam the ocean life from about 245 million until about 90 million years ago- approximately the same time dinosaurs ruled the land. The earliest Ichthyosaur fossil findings were in parts of Canada, China, Japan, and possibly Thailand. Countless fossils came from coatings of limestone produced out of the ocean-floor ooze that was predominantly superior at preserving very well facts of the creatures it digested (Perkins 2).
Andrea Fildani and Michael Shultz, graduate students in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, uncovered the bones of an Ichthyosaur near the southernmost tip of Chilean Patagonia. These rock layers were initially deposited at the floor of an ocean more than 100 million years ago. In their findings of the Chilean boulder, they were fortunate enough to find 17 vertebrae along with neural arches that encircle the spinal cord as well as some ribs. Paleontologists firmly agreed with Fildani’s notion that the bones had been 8 to 9 feet long and had existed around 140 million years ago (Mason 1).
As time progressed, Ichthyosaurs transitioned their body like features from a lizard-shaped body plan to a fish-shaped one through the early and middle Triassic periods. In 1927, the first bone fragments were foun...
... middle of paper ...
...tyles in Jurassic ichthyosaurs”. Journal of Vertebrae Paleontology 21 (No. 1): 61-73.
Mason, Betsy. “Ichthyosaur find may challenge notions about prehistoric migrations”. Stanford Report.com 7 February 2003. 20 March 2004.
Motani, Ryosuke. “Rulers of the Jurassic Seas”.
ScientificAmerican.com 19 December 2000. 22 March 2004.
Perkins, Sid. “Sea Dragons”. Science News Online 162 (No. 8): 1-11. 24 Aug. 2002.
Pickrell, John. “Ichthyosaur’s Turtle Supper Causes Extinction Debate”. National Geographic News.com 5 August 2003. 22 March 2004.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... The skin of an amphibian is also permeable. Permeable means that gases can pass through their skin. A reptiles’ scales provide them with a protective layer of skin that is tough and dry. The scales help to minimize the loss of body moisture, the reptilian scales consists of a protein called keratin. The scale structure of a reptile are not individual like those of a fish, but are a continuous sheet of epidermal tissue. Hard-shelled eggs provide a protective environment in which the embryo can develop and enables reptiles to lay their eggs in dry environments.... [tags: rocodilians, squamates, tuataras]
1265 words (3.6 pages)
- Animal gigantism was prevalent during the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era. Gigantism in flying insects occurred in abundance; however, arthropods, such as arthropleurids, also experienced gigantism. Arthropleurids existed during the Paleozoic era and were the largest land dwelling arthropods in the history of the Earth. 1m long millipedes are classified as arthropleurids. Amphibians such as the terrestrial labyrinthodont amphibians also became gigantic during the Carboniferous period. Large amphibians reached body lengths of up to 2m.... [tags: Biology]
2030 words (5.8 pages)
- Reptiles, the class of reptilian, are an evolutionary grade of eukarya, including today’s turtles, crocodilians, snakes, lizards, as well as many other extinct groups. Reptiles have existed on this planet for millions of years and have undergone countless mutations. One area of interest is how have these creatures defended themselves as their predators have evolved. Over time, evolution has caused the many subspecies of reptiles to develop a wide variety of defensive mechanisms including: camouflage, venom, body armor, behaviors, and other abnormal morphologies.... [tags: Animals, Turtle, Lizards]
1707 words (4.9 pages)
- Evolution and natural selection, two of the most influential scientific discoveries in biology to date, capable of unlocking our past and answering questions of how we became the way we are. However, our understanding of human evolution is hindered when pseudoscientific ideas refuses to yield to legitimate theories. One such idea is the aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) which attempts to explain a number of human adaptations with the single explanation of a semi-aquatic ancestor. Proponents use incorrect “facts” and logical fallacies such as straw men, appeals to authority, and false comparison in their arguments.... [tags: Aquatic Ape Theory]
1787 words (5.1 pages)
- ... (Westrup, 2002) These multiple similarities of humans with aquatic organism and the environmental situation of the time, greatly suggest and helps proves that AAT best fits the explanations of the man/ape primate evolutionary split. The Aquatic Ape Theory explains the start of human evolution on the bases of basic evolutionary terms established by Charles Darwin. As explained earlier, the theory states that humans traveled from the wooded area toward water. In doing this, humans adapted to the new aquatic environment, dealing with survival of the fittest and geographic isolation which caused speciation.... [tags: human evolution, savannah theory]
1338 words (3.8 pages)
- Aquatic Therapy refers to treatments and exercises performed in water for physical rehabilitation purposes. Aquatic therapy uses water as a therapeutic benefit for individuals. The water acts as a form of resistance and aids in improving ones function, flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, aerobic capacity and endurance, gait and locomotion, and pain management. Due to the buoyancy of the water and its non-gravitational forces, aquatic therapy offers a form of exercise which does not put stress on an individual’s joints or spine.... [tags: aquatic therapy, hydrotherapy, whirlpools]
963 words (2.8 pages)
- Since the publishing of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, where the theory of evolution has arisen from, people have debated Creationism versus Evolution. Through supporting facts and statements the theory of evolution will be defended as being more than just a theory, and proven as fact. Evolution as a fact is reinforced through; scientific studies on DNA, genetics and its mutilation, the Fossil Record and the change in earlier species that has been found, and finally the distribution of related species of animals over a broad geographical range.... [tags: evolution]
625 words (1.8 pages)
- What makes a primate a primate. A primate is defined by its many incredible features. A primate is a mammal that has certain characteristics such as: flexible fingers and toes, opposable thumbs, flatter face than other mammals, eyes that face forward and spaced close together, large and complex cerebrum, and social animals. What makes a primate a primate is its characteristics. Some of the physical features primates are identified by is their teeth, snouts, eyes, ears, arms, legs, fingers, and toes.... [tags: Evolution]
687 words (2 pages)
- Savanna Theory Versus Aquatic Ape Theory of Human Evolution The evolution of man is constantly in question. While we are reasonably sure that modern humans and primates are both related to the same common ancestor, there is constant debate over what initially caused the two species to split into early hominids and apes. According to some, our longest and most popular theory on the division of man and ape is profoundly wrong. However, those same individuals usually offer an equally controversial theory as a substitute, one that is almost impossible to scientifically test or prove.... [tags: Anthropology Essays Paleontology Papers]
1286 words (3.7 pages)
- Reptiles are vertebrate, or backboned animals constituting the class Reptilia and are characterized by a combination of features, none of which alone could separate all reptiles from all other animals.The characteristics of reptiles are numerous, therefore can not be explained in great detail in this report. In no special order, the characteristics of reptiles are: cold-bloodedness; the presence of lungs; direct development, without larval forms as in amphibians; a dry skin with scales but not feathers or hair; an amniote egg; internal fertilization; a three or four-chambered heart; two aortic arches (blood vessels) carrying blood from the heart to the body, unlike mammals and birds that on... [tags: essays research papers]
1082 words (3.1 pages)