Fossil lizardfishes

The Fossil Lizardfishes are an important part of today’s modern ecological system due to their existence in the fossil record. These bony fishes are believed to have lived during the Cretaceous period, about 135 million to 65 million years ago. They should not be confused with the modern-day Lizardfishes, which appear quite different.

Its name is ichthyosaurus. It is commonly known as lizardfish. Remains of these animals were found in an archipelago in Norway. This suggests that this type of species existed long before the first mass extinction on Earth. The lizardfish fossils are the clue that leads to this confirmation.

They were thought to have arisen after the first mass extinction known as the Great Mortality. Details of this finding were published on March 13 in the trade journal Current Biology. He says that they existed in the oceans long before that catastrophic event 250 million years ago.

The fossils found change what was known about these lizardfish.
Fossils found change what was known about these lizardfishes.

Super predators

Swedish and Norwegian paleontologists found the ichthyosaur fossils on Spitsbergen. It is a remote island in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, in the Arctic Ocean in 2014. It consists of 11 tail vertebrae that were trapped inside a limestone rock. They are the oldest fossils ever discovered and the oldest evidence of marine reptiles.

The ichthyosaur was a type of aquatic reptile that belonged to the class Sauropsida. It bears some resemblance to present-day dolphins. It is believed that marine reptiles transited from land to water. They filled an ecological vacuum left by the disappearance of predators in the oceans. They were among the first animals to adapt to water. They were at the top of the food chain in the oceans, where they dominated for more than 16 years.

Ichthyosaurs were believed to have arisen after the event known as the Great Mortality. It was the first mass extinction that took place 251 million years ago. It wiped out 90% of life on earth. But the Spitsbergen lizardfish fossils confirm otherwise.

The lizardfish fossils found are from before the Great Mortality.
The lizardfish fossils found are from before the Great Mortality.

Well adapted

An ichthyosaur about 3 meters long was found. The bones have a spongier structure, suggesting that they were better adapted to water. What was known so far about the first mass extinction must be reconsidered. This is pointed out by journalist Harry Baker in Live Science.

“Some groups predated this historical interval,” the researchers wrote in a statement. They will continue to search for ichthyosaur fossils to confirm this fact.

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